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W. F. SHAW, 






THE KENTISH DIALECT finds its expression in 
peculiarities of phrase and pronunciation rather 
than in any great number of distinctly dialectical 
words. In many respects it closely resembles the dialect 
of Sussex, though it retains a distinctive character, and 
includes a considerable number of words which are un- 
known in the neighbouring County. 

The Kentish pronunciation is so much more coarse 
and broad than that of Sussex, that many words which 
are common to both dialects can scarcely be recognised a 
few miles away from the border ; and many words of ordi- 
nary use become strangely altered. As an instance, the 
word elbow may be taken, which first has the termination 
altered by the substitution of ber [ber] for bow [boa], and 
becomes elber [el'ber]. The e is next altered to a, and in 
Sussex the word would be generally pronounced alber 
[al-ber], in which form it is still recognisable ; but the 
Kentish man alters the al into ar [aa], and knocking out 
the medial consonant altogether, pronounces the word 
arber [aa-ber], and thus actually retains only one letter 

vi. Introduction. 

out of the original five. The chief peculiarities of pro- 
nunciation are these, 

Such words as barrow and carry become bar and car [baa, kaa]. 

a [a] before double d is pronounced aa; as laader [laa'der] for 

a [a] before double / becomes o; as follcr [fol'er] for fallow, 
a [ai] before t is lengthened into ea; as pleat [plee'h't] for plate. 

Double e, or the equivalent of it, becomes i ; as "ship in the fil" 
[ship in dhu' fil] for " sheep in the field." 

Then, by way of compensation, i is occasionally pronounced like 
double e; as "The meece got into the heeve" [Dhu' mee's 
got nrtu' dhu' hee'v] for " the mice got into the hive" 

i appears as e in such words as pet [pet] for pit. 

o before n is broadened into two syllables by the addition of an 
obscure vowel ; as " Doant ye see the old poany be all skin 
and boans " [doa'h'nt ye see dhu' oald poa'h'ny bee aul skin 
un boa'h'ns]. 

ou is lengthened by prefixing a [a] ; the resulting sound being 

Eaew]. "The haounds were raound our haouse yesterday." 
Dhu' haewnds wer raewnd our haews yesferdai.] 

The voiced th [dh] is invariably pronounced d; so that, this, then, 
though become dat, dis, den, dough [dat, dis, den, doa]. 

In words such as fodder (A.S. fodor], where the old d comes 
between two vowels, the dialect has th [dh], as [fodh'er]. 

The final letters are transposed in wasp, hasp, and many words of 
similar termination. Hence these become [wops, haps]. 

w and v change places invariably when they are initial ; as " wery 
veil " for very well. 

Peculiarities of construction appear in the case of a 
large class of words, whereof "upgrown," " outstand," "no- 
ought," "over-run" and others may be taken as types. 

Almost every East Kent man has one or two special 
words of his own, which he has himself invented, and these 
become very puzzling to those who do not know the secret 
of their origin ; and as he dislikes the intrusion of any words 
beyond the range of his own vocabulary, he is apt to show 
his resentment by taking so little trouble to pronounce them 

Introduction. vii. 

correctly, that they generally become distorted beyond all 
recognition. Broad titus, for instance, would not easily be 
understood to mean bronchitis. 

The East Kent man is, moreover, not fond of strangers, 
he calls any new-comers into the village " furriners," and 
pronounces their names as he pleases. These peculiarities 
of speech and temper all tend to add to the difficulty of 
understanding the language in which the Kentish people 
express themselves. 

The true dialect of Kent is now found only in the 
Eastern portion of the County, and especially in the 
Weald. It has been affected by many influences, most 
of all, of course, by its geographical position, though it 
seems strange that so few French words have found their 
way across the narrow streak of sea which separates it 
from France. 

The purity of the dialect diminishes in proportion to 
the proximity to London of the district in which it is spoken. 
It may be said that the dialectal sewage of the Metropolis 
finds its way down the river and is deposited on the southern 
bank of the Thames, as far as the limits of Gravesend- 
Reach, whence it seems to overflow and saturate the neigh- 
bouring district. The language in which Samuel Weller, 
Senior and Junior, express themselves in the pages of the 
Pickwick Papers, affords an excellent specimen of what 
the Kentish dialect is, when it is brought under the full 
influence of this saturation. 

Our collection of Kentish words and provincialisms 
has been gathered from various sources. Much has already 
been done to rescue from oblivion the peculiarities of the 
dialect. As long ago as 1736 Lewis published a glossary 
of local words in the second edition of his History of the 

viii. Introduction. 

Isle of Tenet ; this was reprinted by Prof. Skeat for the 
English Dialect Society as * Glossary B n,' in 1874. Dr. 
Pegge's attention was drawn to the subject at the same 
time, and he compiled a glossary entitled ' Kenticisms,' 
which remained in manuscript till it was communicated, 
in 1876, by Prof. Skeat, to the English Dialect Society 
and to the IX. Vol. of the Archseologia Cantiana. The 
MS. was purchased by him at Sir F. Madden's sale, and 
will be presented to the English Dialect Society. 

A large number of Kentish words were found in the 
pages of Holloway's General Dictionary of Provincialisms 
(1839), an d also in Halliwell's Dictionary of Archaic and 
Provincial words (1872); and when Professor Skeat sug- 
gested to us a more complete glossary of the dialect, we 
found that these publications had aroused such a con- 
siderable interest in the collection of Kentish words, that 
several collectors were at work in different parts of the 
County, all of whom most kindly placed their lists of 
words at our disposal. (One peculiarly interesting collec- 
tion was given to the Society many years ago by Mr. G. 
Bedo.) The learned Professor has never for a moment 
abated his interest in our work, and has been always 
ready with a helping hand. Meanwhile the great local 
professor of the Kentish language, Mr. H. Knatchbull- 
Hugessen, M.P., has given us the full benefit of his thorough 
knowledge of the subject. 

In order to exhibit the modern dialect more clearly, 
references to the specimens of Kentish in the Early and 
Middle English Periods have been avoided. It may, 
however, be well to observe here that the peculiarities of 
the phonology of the old dialect are well shown in some of 
these. The most important are the following : 

Introduction. ix. 

1. The inscription in the Codex Aureus, printed in 
Sweet's Oldest English Texts, p. 174, and reprinted (very 
accessibly) in Sweet's Anglo-Saxon Reader, Part II., p. 98. 
This incription is of the Ninth Century. 

2. Some Glosses in a copy of Beda (MS. Cotton, Tib. 
c. 2), apparently in Kentish. Printed in Sweet's Oldest 
English Texts, p. 179. Of the end of the Ninth Century. 

3. Some of the Charters printed in Sweet's Oldest 
English Texts, pp. 425 460. See, in particular, a Charter 
of Hlothere, No. 4 ; of Wihtred, No. 5 ; of ^Ethelberht, 
Nos. 6 and 7 ; of Eardwulf, No. 8 ; and the Charters 
numbered 33 44, inclusive. Of these, Nos. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 
and 34 42, inclusive, are reprinted in Sweet's Anglo- 
Saxon Reader, Part II., pp. 174 194. 

4. Kentish Glosses of the Ninth Century, first printed 
by Prof. Zupitza in Haupt's Zeitschrift, and reprinted in 
Sweet's Anglo-Saxon Reader, Part II., pp. 152 175. 

5. Five Sermons in the Kentish dialect of the 
Thirteenth Century, printed in Morris's Old English 
Miscellany, pp. 26 36. Two of these are reprinted in 
Morris's Specimens of English, Part I., pp. 141 145. The 
grammatical forms found in these Sermons are discussed in 
the Preface to the Old English Miscellany, pp. xiii. xvi. 

6. The Poems of William, of Shoreham (not far from 
Sevenoaks), written in the former half of the Fourteenth 
Century, edited for the Percy Society by T. Wright, London, 
1849. An extract is given in Specimens of English, ed. 
Morris and Skeat, Part II., pp. 63 68. 

7. The Ayenbite of Inwyt, or Remorse of Conscience, 
finished A.D. 1340, by Dan Michel, of Northgate, edited by 
Morris for the Early English Text Society in 1866. An 



extract is given in Specimens of English, ed. Morris and 
Skeat, Part II., pp. 98106. 

It may be added that the Psalter, known as the 
Vaspasian Psalter, printed in Sweet's Oldest English Texts, 
is now ascertained to be Mercian. It was first printed by 
Stevenson for the Surtees Society in 1843-4, under the 
impression that it was " Northumbrian " a statement which 
will not bear even a hasty test. Mr. Sweet at first claimed 
it as "Kentish" (Trans, of the Phil. Soc. 1877, Part III.,' 
p. 555), but a closer investigation proves it to be Mercian, 
as Mr. Sweet has himself shown. 

It may be mentioned that the collection of words 
presented in this Dictionary has been in process of 
formation for no less than fourteen years, and in the 
course of that time we found many instances of folk lore 
and proverbial expressions, which have been retained in 
expectation that they may form the nucleus of a separate 
work to be published hereafter. 

At the end of this book a few blank pages will be found 
perforated so as to be detached without injuring the rest, 
and upon these we hope that many notes on Folk Lore and 
Local Proverbs, and quaint words and anecdotes, illustra- 
tive of Kentish dialect and character, may be jotted down 
from time to time and forwarded to Rev. W. F. Shaw, 
Eastry Vicarage, Sandwich, in whose hands they will help 
to the completion of a work which promises to be one of 
considerable interest. 


From which Quotations are frequently made in the course of 
this Work. 









Have been kindly placed at our disposal, by the following Collectors 















Much information has also been given by Mrs. WHITE (Preston, 
and many others, to whom the Editors desire to offer their best thanks. 



The following was written by the late Mr. John White Masters, who was brought 
up in the neighbourhood of Faversham, under circumstances which gave him special 
facilities for making notes upon the Kentish Dialect as it was spoken in the early part 
of the present century. There seems to be internal evidence that the hero and heroine 
of the tale started from the village of Sheldwick (with which Mr. Masters was connected}. 
The Verses were first published before 1821, but the exact date is unknown. 

1. r ~in v HE bailiff's boy had overslept, 

The cows were not put in ; 
But rosy Mary cheerly stept, 
To milk them on the green. 

2. Dick staggered with a carf of hay, 

To feed the bleating sheep ; 
Proud thus to usher in the day, 
While half the world's asleep. 

3. And meeting Mary with her pail, 

He said, " If you wull stay, 
I'll tell ya jest a funny tale, 
About my holerday." 

4. 'Twas then by some auspicious hap, 

That I was passing near 'im, 
And as he seem'd a likely chap, 
Thinks I, I'll stop and hear 'im. 

5. Now, Mary broke her steady pace, 

And down she set her pail ; 
Dick brush'd the hay seeds off his face, 
And thus began his tale : 

xiv. Dick and Sal 

6. "Ya see when Michaelmas come roun, 

I thought dat Sal and I, 
Ud go to Canterbury town, 
To see what we cud buy. 

7. For when I lived at Challock Lees, 

Our second-man had bin ; 
And wonce when he was earring peas, 
He told me what he'd sin. 

8. He sed dare was a teejus fair, 

Dat lasted for a wick ; 
And all de ploughmen dat went dare, 
Must car dair shining-stick. 

9. An how dat dare was nable rigs, 

An men-lander's jokes ; 
Snuff-boxes, shows, and whirligigs, 
An houghed sight o' folks. 

10. But what queer'd me, he sed, 'twas kep 

All round about de Church ; 
And how dey had him up de steps, 
And left him in de lurch. 

11. At last he got into de street, 

An den he lost his road ; 
And Bet and he come to a geate, 
Whar all de soagers stud. 

12. Den she ketcht fast hold av his han', 

For she was reythur scar'd ; 
Tom sed when fust he see 'em stan', 
He thought she'd be afared. 

13. But one dat had a great broad soord, 

Did ' left wheel ' loudly cry ; 
And all de men scared at his word, 
Flew roun ta let dem by. 

14. And den de drums dey beat ya know, 

De soagers dey was prancin ; 

Tom told me dat it pleased 'em so, 

They coud'n kip from dancin. 

At Canterbury Fair. xv. 

15. So I told feyther what I thought 

'Bout gooing to de fair ; 
An den he told me what he bought, 
When moder and he was dare. 

1 6. He bought our Jack a leather cap, 

An Sal a money-puss ; 
An Tom an Jem a spinnin tap, 
An me a little hoss. 

17. Den moder drummin in my ear, 

Told all dat she had done ; 
For doe she liv'd for fifty year, 
She'd never sin such fun. 

1 8. So Sal and I was mighty glad, 

Ta hear sudge news as dat ; 
An I set off ta neighbour Head, 
Ta get a new straa hat. 

19. An Thursday mornin Sal an I, 

Set out ta goo ta fair ; 
An moder an day wish't us good bye, 
An told Sal ta taak care. 

20. But jest as o'er the stile we got, 

She call'd har back agin, 
An sed, ' Ya taak yer milkin coat, 
Fer Fre afared 'twull rain.' 

21. Sal got de coat, an we agin, 

Did both an us set sail ; 
An she sed, ' Was she sure 'too'd rain, 
She never oo'd turn tail.' 

22. De clover was granable wet, 

Sa when we crast de medder, 
We both upan de hardle set, 
An den begun concedir. 

23. De Folkston gals looked houghed black, 

* Old Waller'd roar'd about : 
Ses I ta Sal, ' Shall we go back ! ' 
'Na, na,' says she, 'kip out.' 

* This expression cannot be clearly explained. 

xvi. Dick and Sal 

24. 'Ya see the lark is mountain high, 

De clouds ta undermine ; 

I lay a graat he clears de sky, 

And den it wull be fine.' 

25. An sure enough old Sal was right, 

De Folkston gals was missin ; 
De sun and sky begun look bright, 
An Waller'd stopt his hissin. 

26. An so we sasselsail'd along, 

An crass de fields we stiver'd, 
While dickey lark kep up his song 
An at de clouds conniver'd. 

27. De rain an wind we left behind, 

De clouds was scar'd away ; 
Bright Pebus he shut-fisted shin'd, 
And 'twas a lightful day. 

28. We tore like mad through Perry 'ood, 

An jest beyand Stone Stile, 
We got inta de turnpik road, 
An kep it all de while. 

29. An den we went through Shanford Street, 

An over Chartham Down ; 
My wig ! how many we did meet, 
A coming from de town. 

30. An some sung out, ' Dare's Moll and Jan,' 

But we ne'er cared for it ; 
Through thick an thin we blunder'd an, 
An got ta Wincheap Street. 

31. I sed, 'We'r got here sure enough, 

We'll kip upon de causeway ; ' 
But Sal sed, ' 'Tis sa plagued rough, 
Less get inta de hossway.' 

32. And so we slagger'd den ya know, 

And gaap't and stared about ; 
Ta see de houses all a row, 
An signs a hanging out. 

At Canterbury Fair. xvii. 

33. An when a goodish bit we'd bin, 

We turn'd to de right han' ; 
An den we turned about agin, 
An see an alus stan. 

34. Sal thought it was de Goat or Hine 

I didn' know for my part ; 
But when we look't apan de sign, 
De reading was de 'White Hart.' 

35. Den we went through a ge'at ya see, 

An down a gravel walk : 
An's we stood unnerneath a tree, 
We heard de people talk. 

36. So Sal, ya know, heav'd up her face, 

Ad see 'em al stan roun, 
Upon a gurt high bank an pleace, 
An we apan de groun. 

37. Den I gaapt up and see 'em all, 

An wonder'd what could be 
Sa I turns round an says to Sal, 
1 Less clamber up an see.' 

38. But she was rather scared at fust 

Fer fear a tumblin down ; 
An dey at tap made game an us, 
An told us ta goo roun. 

39- Jigg er ! I wooden give it up, 
So took her roun de nick, 
An holl'd her pattens ta de top, 
An dragged her through de quick. 

40. An den she turn'd erself about, 

An sed 'twas rather rough ; 
But when we found de futway out, 
We went up safe enough. 

41. An when we got to de tip top, 

We see a marble mountain 
A gurt high stone thing histed up, 
Jest like a steeple countin. 

xviii. Dick and Sal 

42. An dare we see, ah ! all de town, 

Houses, an winmills grindin ; 
*An gospells feeding on de groun, 
An boys de dunnocks mindin. 

43. How we was scared why, darn my skin ! 

I lay dat dare was more 
Houses an churches den we'd sin 
In all 'ur lives afore. 

44. An when we'd stared and gaap'd all roun, 

And thought we'd sin 'em all ; 
We turned about for ta come down, 
But got apan a wall. 

45. An Sal look't over as we past, 

Ta see de ivy stick, 
An if I had'en held her fast, 
She would a brok 'er nick. 

46. Den on we went, an soon we see 

A brick place, where instead, 
A being at top, as't ought to be, 
De road ran unnernead. 

47. An dare we pook't and peek'd about, 

Ta see what made it stick up ; 
But narn o' us cou'den' find it out, 
What kep the middle brick up. 

48. An Sal sung out, ' Why dis here wall, 

It looks sa old an hagged ; 
I'm mortally afared 'twill fall : ' 
And I was deadly shagged. 

49. An when we got into de street, 

A coach dat come from Dover, 
Did gran nigh tread us under feet, 
An Sal was 'most run over. 

50. And so we stiver'd right acrass, 

And went up by a mason's ; 
An come down to a gurt big house 
I lay it was de Pason's ! 

* It is supposed that some error in printing may have created the two words 
gospells and dunnocks, which occur in this stanza, for the most careful enquiries have 
failed to identify them. 

At Canterbury Fair. xix. 

51. And den we turn'd to de left ban, 

An down into de street, 
An see a gurt fat butcher stan, 
Wid shop chuck full o' meat. 

52. Den all at once we made a stop, 

I thought Sal would a fainted ; 
When lookin in a barber's shop, 
Sa fine de dolls was painted. 

53. And dare was one an 'em I'll swear 

Jest like de Pason's wife ; 
Wid nose, an eyes, an teeth, an hair, 
As nat'ral as life. 

54. So dare we stopt a little space, 

An sed ' How queer it looks ; ' 
But soon we see anudder place, 
And dat was crammed wid books. 

55. I sed ta her 'What books dare be, 

Dare's supm ta be sin ; ' 
Den she turn'd round, and sed to me, 
* Suppose we do go in.' 

56. Now, Sal, ye see, had bin ta school 

She went to old aunt Kite ; 
An so she was'en quite a fool, 
But cud read purty tight. 

57. She larnt her A B C, ya know, 

Wid D for dunce and dame, 
An all dat's in de criss-crass row, 
An how to spell her name. 

58. Sa in we went an down we squot, 

An look't in every earner ; 
Den ax't de ooman if she'd got 
De book about Tom Harner. 

59. It put Sal almost out a breath, 

When fust we went in dare ; 
De ooman was sa plaguey death, 
She cou'den mak 'ar hear. 

xx. Dick and Sal 

60. At last de man he hard us bawl, 

So out ya know he coom ; 
An braught de book, an gin't ta Sal, 
An sa we carr'd it hoom. 

61. An Sal 'as red it throo and throo, 

An lint it to 'er brudder ; 
An feyther loike to have it too, 
An wisht we'd bought anudder. 

62. Den we came to anudder street, 

Where all was butcher's shops ; 
Dare was a tarnal sight of meat, 
An steeks, an mutton-chops. 

63. An dare was aluses by swarms 

I lay dare was a duzen ! 
An he dat kep de Butcher's Arms, 
Was old Jan Hillses cousin. 

64. And so as Sal lookt purtty fine, 

We thoft we'd goo in dare ; 
An hav a sup a beer ar two, 
Afore we went ta fair. 

65. De landlord he lookt moighty brave, 

Wid his gurt rosy cheeks ; 
An axt us if we loike to have 
A pound ar two a steeks. 

66. Sa when we lickt de platters out, 

An yoffled down de beer, 
I sed ta Sal, ' Less walk about, 
An try an find de fair.' 

67. An's we went prowling down de street, 

We met old Simon Cole ; 
He claa'd hold on her round de nick, 
An 'gun to suck har jole. 

68. Now, dash my wig ! dat put me out, 

For dare was Sal a squallin ; 
I fedge him sich a tarnal clout, 
Dat down I knockt him spraalin. 

At Canterbury Fair. xxi. 

69. Dare he lay grumblin in de gutter, 

De folks day gather'd roun' us, 
An crowded in wid such a clutter, 
De same as if dey'd poun' us. 

70. An dis was jist aside de shop, 

Where all de picters hung ; 
An books an sich like mabbled up, 
An now an tan a song. 

71. An dare we strain'd, an stared, an blous'd, 

An' tried ta get away ; 

But more we strain'd, de more they scroug'd, 
An sung out, ' Giv 'em play.' 

72. Den Simon swore by all dats good, 

He'd knock me inta tinder ; 
An blow'd if I did'en think he ood, 
Fer'e knockt me throught de winder. 

73. An tore my chops most cruelly, 

De blood begun ta trickle ; 
You wou'den a know'd it had bin me, 
I was in such a pickle. 

74. Now jigger me tight ! dat rais'd my fluff, 

I claw'd hold av his mane ; 
An' mint ta fetch his head a cuff, 
But brok anudder pane. 

75. Den I was up, den I gun swear, 

De chaps dey did jist laugh, 
An Sal she stompt, an tore har hair, 
An beller'd like a calf. 

76. I thoft I'd fetch him one more pounce, 

So heav'd my stick an meant it, 
Jist to a' broke his precious sconce, 
But through de winder sent it. 

77. De books and ballets flew about, 

Like thatch from off de barn ; 
Or like de stra dat clutters out 
De 'sheen a thrashing earn. 

xxii. Dick and Sal 

78. An den de chaps dey laugh'd agin, 

As if old Nick had seiz'd 'em ; 

An burn my skin ! if I did'en grin, 

A'cause I seed it pleased 'em. 

79. But paid gran dearly far my fun, 

An dat ya knows de wust an't ; 
I sed old Simon right ta pay, 
A'cause he was de fust an't. 

80. But when de master coom hisself, 

He 'gun to say 'is prayers ; 
' 'Twas ya/ said he, ' ya stupid elf, 
I'll ha' ya ta de Mayer's. 

81. Yees, ya shall pay, ya trucklebed, 

Ya buffle-headed ass ; 
I know 'twas ya grate pumpin 'ead, 
First blunnered thro de glass.' 

82. So den I dobb'd him down the stuff, 

A plaguey sight ta pay ; 
An Sal an I was glad enuff, 
At last ta git away. 

83. But when we got ta de Church-yard, 

In hopes ta fine' de Fair ; 
Ya can't think how we both was scared 
A'cause it was'n dare ! 

84. So we was cruelly put out ; 

An den de head pidjector 
Av some fine shop, axt what we thoft 
About his purty pictur. 

85. Sal said she cou'den roightly tell, 

An as you're there alive ; 
Doe unnernead dey wrote it Peel, 
I're sure it was a hive. 

86. I cou'd a gin de man a smack, 

He thought we cou'den tell ; 
Sa often as ya know we baak, 
A beehive from a peel. 

At Canterbury Fair. xxiii. 

87. So den we stiver'd up de town, 

An found de merry fair ; 
Jest at de place dat we coom down, 
When fust we did git dare. 

88. Den I took Sarer by de han', 

An wou'den treat her scanty ; 
An holl'd down sixpence to de man, 
An gin her nuts a plenty. 

89. An den, ya know, we seed de show, 

An when we'd done and tarn'd about, 
Sal sed to me, ' I think I see 

Old Glover wid his round-about ; 

90. An dat noo boat dat Akuss made, 

And snuff-boxes beside ; ' 
So den we went to him an sed 
We'd loike to have a ride. 

91. An up we got inta de boat, 

But Sal began to maunder ; 
For fare de string, when we'd gun swing, 
Shud brake an cum asunder. 

92. But Glover sed ' It is sa tuff, 

'Tud bear a duzn men ; ' 
An when he thoft we'd swung enuff, 
He tuk us down agin. 

93. An den he lookt at me and sed, 

' It seems to please your wife ; ' 
Sal grinn'd, and sed ' She never had 
Sudge fun in all her life.' 

94. De snuff-boxes dey did jest fly, 

And sunder cum de rem ; 
Dangle de skin an't ! sed I 
I'll have a rap at dem. 

95. My nable ! there was lots of fun, 

An sich hubbub an hollar ; 
De donkeys dey for cheeses run, 
An I grinn'd through a collar. 

xxiv. Dick and Sal. 

96. Den Sal she run for half-a-crown, 

An I jumpt in a sack, 
An shou'd a won, but I fell down, 
An gran nigh brok my back. 

97. Den we went out inta de town, 

An had some gin an stuff; 
An Sal bought her a bran noo gown, 
An sed she'd sin enuff. 

98- Jigg er ! I wou'd buy har a ribb'n ; 

So when we'd bin and got it, 
I told 'er dat 'twas almost sebb'm, 
An thoft we'd better fut it. 

99. An somehow we mistook the road, 

But axt till we got right, 
So foun our way throo Perry 'ood, 
An got home safe at night," 

100. Thus Dick his canister unpack'd 

I heard his oratory ; 

And my poor sides were almost crack'd, 
With laughing at his story. 





A. Used as a prefix with a verbal sb., taken actively. 

" She's always a making mischief about somebody 
or another." 

ABED [ubed-] adv. In bed. 

" You have not been abed, then ? " 

Othello, act iii. sc. i. 

ABIDE [ubei-d] vb. To bear ; to endure ; to tolerate ; to 
put-up-with. Generally used in a negative sentence, 
as : 

" I cannot abide swaggerers." //. Henry IV. act ii. sc. 4. 

ABITED [ubertid] adj. Mildewed. 

ACHING-TOOTH, sb. To have an aching-tooth for anything, 
is to wish for it very much. 

" Muster Moppett's man's got a terr'ble aching-tooth 
for our old sow." 

ACT- ABOUT, vb. To play the fool. 

"He got acting-about y and fell down and broke his leg." 

ADLE [adT] adj. Unwell ; confused. 

"My head's that adle, that I can't tend to nothin'." 

2 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

ADRY [udrer] adj. In a dry or thirsty condition. 

AFEARED [ufee'rd] adj. Affected with fear or terror. 
" Will not the ladies be af eared of the lion ? " 

Midsummer Nighfs Dream, act iii. sc. I. 

AFORE [ufoa*r] prep. Before. 

AFTERMEATH [aaft-urmee-th] sb. The grass which grows 
after the first crop has been mown for hay; called also, 

AGIN [ugin*] prep. Against ; over-against ; near. 
" He lives down de lane agin de stile." 

AGREEABLE [ugree-ubl] adj. Consenting; acquiescent. 

" They axed me what I thought an't, and I said as 
how I was quite agreeable! 1 

AKERS [ai-kurz] Acorns. 

ALEING [ai-ling] sb. An old-fashioned entertainment, given 
with a view to collecting subscriptions from guests 
invited to partake of a brewing of ale. 

ALE-SOP [aHsop] sb. A refection consisting of toast and 
strong ale, hot ; customarily partaken of by the 
servants in many large establishments in Kent on 
Christmas day. 

ALL-A-MOST [au-lumoast] adv. Almost. 

ALLEMASH-DAY [aHmash] sb. French a la meche. The 
day on which the Canterbury silk-weavers begin to 
work by candle-light. 

ALL-ON, adv. Continually. 

" He kep all on actin'-about, and wouldn't tend to 

ALLOW, vb. To consider. 

" He's allowed to be the biggest rogue in Faversham." 

ALL WORKS, sb. The name given to a labourer on a farm, 
who stands ready to do any and every kind of work to 
which he may be set. 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 3 

ALONGST [ulongst-] prep. On the long side of anything. 

ALUS [arlus] sb. An ale-house. 

" And when a goodish bit we'd bin 

We turned to de right han ; 
And den we turned about agin, 

And see an a/us stan." Dick and Sal, st. 33. 

AM. Used for are ; as 

" They 'm gone to bed." 

AMENDMENT [u'men-munt] sb. Manure laid on land. 

AMMUT-CAST [anrut kaa-st] 'sb. An emmet's cast ; an ant- 

AMON [ai-mun] sb. A hop, two steps, and a jump. A half- 
amon, is a hop, step, and jump. 

AMONGST THE MIDDLINS, adv. phr. In pretty good health. 
" Well, Master lumber, how be you gettin' on now ? " 
" Oh, I be amongst the middlins! " 

AMPER [amp-ur] sb. A tumour or swelling ; a blemish. 

AMPERY [amp-uri] adj. Weak ; unhealthy ; beginning to 
decay, especially applied to cheese. (See Hampery.} 

AN. Frequently used for of. 

" What do you think ari\. ? " 

" Well, I thinks I wunt have no more an't." 

ANDIRONS [and-eirnz] sb. pi. The dogs, brand-irons, or 
cob-irons placed on either side of an open wood fire 
to keep the brands in the places. Called end-irons in 
the marginal reading of Ezek. xl. 43. 

ANENTS [unents*] prep. Against ; opposite ; over-against. 
ANEWST [uneu-st] adv. Over-against; near. 

ANOINTED [unoi-ntid] adj. Mischievous ; troublesome. 

" He's a proper anointed young rascal," occasionally 

enlarged to : " The devil's own anointed young rascal." 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

ANOTHER- WHEN, adv. Another time. 

ANTHONY-PIG [ant-uni pig] sb. The smallest pig of the 
litter, supposed to be the favourite, or at any rate the 
one which requires most care, and peculiarly under the 
protection of St. Anthony. 

ANVIL-CLOUDS, sb. pi. White clouds shaped somewhat like 
a blacksmith's anvil, said to denote rain. 

APS [aps-] sb. (i) An asp or aspen tree; (2) a viper. 
" The pison of apses is under their lips." 

AQUABOB [arkwu'bob] sb. An icicle. 
ARBER [aa-ber] sb. Elbow. 

ARBITRY [aa-bitri] adj. Hard; greedy; grasping; short 
for arbitrary. 

AREAR [u'ree*r] adj. Reared-up ; upright. 

ARRIVANCE [urei-vuns] sb. Origin ; birthplace. 

" He lives in Faversham town now, but he's a low- 
hill (below-hill) man by arrivance." 

ARTER [aa-turj prep. After. 

"Jack and Jill went up the hill 

To fetch a pail of water ; 
Jack fell down and broke his crown, 
And Jill came tumbling arter" 

As. Is often used redundantly. 

" I can only say as this I done the best I could." 
" I reckon you'll find it's as how it is." 

ASHEN-KEYS [ash-nkee-z] sb. pi. The clustering seeds of 
the ash-tree ; so called, from their resemblance to a 
bunch of keys. 

ASIDE [usei'd] prep. By the side of. 
" I stood aside him all the time." 

ASPRAWL [usprau*l] adj. Gone wrong. 
" The pig-trade's all aspraml now." 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 5 

ASTRE [aast-ur] sb. A hearth. 

Lambarde (Perambulation of Kent, Ed. 1596, p. 562) 
states, that in his time this word was nearly obsolete 
in Kent, though still retained in Shropshire and other 

AUGUST-BUG [au-gust-bug-] sb. A beetle somewhat smaller 
than the May-bug or July-bug. 

Av, prep. Of. 

" I ha' ant heerd fill nor fall av him." 

AWHILE [u'werl] adv. For a time. 

" He wunt be back yet awhile, I lay." 

AWLN [airln, au*n] sb. A French measure of length, equal- 
ing 5-ft. 7~in., used in measuring nets. 

Ax, sb. An axletree. 

Ax, vb. To ask. 

This is a transposition aks for ask, as waps for wasp, 
haps for hasp, &c. " I axed him if this was the way to 

"Where of the seyde acomptantis #.r alowance as hereafter foloyth." 
Accounts of the Churchwardens of St. Dunstarts, Canterbury. 


BACKENING [bak-uning] sb. A throwing back ; a relapse ; 
a hindrance. 

BACKER [bak*ur] sb. A porter; a carrier; an unloader. 
A word in common use at the docks. 

BACK-OUT [bak-out] sb. A backyard. 

BACKPART [bak-paart] sb. The back, where part is really 
redundant. " I shall be glad to see the backpart of 
you/' i.e., to get you gone. 

"I will take away Mine hand and thou shalt see 
My backparts ; but My face shall not be seen." Ex. 
xxxiii. 23. 

6 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

BACKSIDE [bak-seid] sb. A yard at the back of a house. 

1590 1592. " It' m allowed to ffrencham for mendinge 
of a gutter, and pavement in his backside . . . xix d> " 

Sandwich Book of Orphans. 

1611. "And he led the flock to the backside of the 
desert." Ex. iii. i. 

BACKSTAY [bak-stai] sb. The flat piece of wood put on 
the feet in the manner of a snow-shoe, and used by the 
inhabitants of Romney Marsh to cross the shingle at 

A stake driven in to support a raddle-fence. 
BACKSTERS [bak-sturz] sb. pi. (Same as Backstay.] 

BACKWAY [bak-wai] sb. The yard or space at the back of 
a cottage. 

BAG, i)b. To cut with a bagging hook. 

1677. The working-man taking a hook in each hand, 
cuts (the pease) with his right hand, and rolls them up 
with that in his left, which they call bagging of pease. 
Plot, Oxfordshire 256. 

BAGGING-HOOK [bag-ing-huok] sb. A curved cutting imple- 
ment, very like a sickle, or reaping hook, but with a 
square, instead of a pointed, end. It is used for cutting 
hedges, &c. The handle is not in the same plane as 
the hook itself, but parallel to it, thus enabling those 
who use it to keep their hands clear of the hedge. 

BAIL [bail] sb. The handle of a pail, bucket, or kettle. A 
cake-<faz7 is the tin or pan in which a cake is baked. 

BAILY [barli] (i]sb. A court within a fortress. The level 
green place before the court at Chilham Castle, t.e., 
between the little court and the street, is still so called. 
They have something of this sort at Folkestone, and 
they call it the bale [bail]. The Old Bailey in London, 
and the New Bailey in Manchester, must have been 
originally something of the same kind, places fenced 
in. O.F. bailie ', a barrier. 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

BAILY [barli] (2) sb. Bailiff is always pronounced thus. 
At a farm, in what is called " a six-horse place," the 
first four horses are under the charge of the wagoner 
and his mate, and the other two, of an under-baily. 

BAILY-BOY [barlibor] sb. A bailiff-boy, or boy employed 
by the farmer to go daily over the ground, and to see 
that everything is in order, and to do every work 
necessary. Pegge. 

BAIN'T [bai-nt] phr. For are not, or be, not. 
" Surely you bairit agoin' yit-awhile ? " 

BAIST [baai*st] sb. The frame-work of a bed with webbing. 
Weald. (See also, Beist, Hoist.) 

BAIT [bai't] sb. A luncheon taken by workmen in the 

BALD-PATES [bau*ld-pai-ts] sb. pi. Roman coins of the 
lesser and larger silver were so called in Thanet, by 
the country people, in Lewis's time. 

BALK [bau-k] (i) sb. A raised pathway ; a path on a bank : 
a pathway serving as a boundary. 

BALK [bau-k] (2) sb. A cut tree. 

BALLET [bal-et] sb. A ballad; a pamphlet; so called 
because ballads are usually published in pamphlet form. 

" Use no tavernys where the jestis and fablis ; 
Syngyng of lewde ballette, rondelettes, or virolais." 

MS. Laud, 416, civ. Written by a rustic of Kent, 1460. 

" De books an ballets flew about, 
Like thatch from off the barn." 

Dick and Sal, st. 77. 

BALLOW [bal-oa] sb. A stick ; a walking-stick ; a cudgel. 

" Keep out che vor'ye, or ise try whether your Costard or my 
Sallow be the harder." 

King Lear, act iv. sc. 6. (first folio ed.) 

BALL SQUAB [bau-lskwob] sb. A young bird just hatched. 

BANNA [ban-u], BANNER [ban-r] phr. For be not. 
" Banna ye going hopping this year?" 

8 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

BANNOCK [ban-uk] vb. To thrash ; beat ; chastise. 

BANNOCKING [bairuking] sb. A thrashing ; beating. 

u He's a tiresome young dog ; but if he don't mind 
you, jest you give him a good bannocking" 

BANYAN-DAY [ban*yun-dai] sb. A sea-term for those days 
on which no meat is served out to the sailors. 

Saddaday is a banyan-day." " What do'ye mean ? " 
Oh! a day on which we eat up all the odds and ends/' 


BARBEL [baa*bl] sb. A sort of petticoat worn by fisher- 
men at Folkestone. (See also Barvel.) 

BARGAIN PENCE [baa'gin pens] sb. pi. Earnest money ; 
money given on striking a bargain. 

BAR-GOOSE [baa*goos] sb. The common species of shel- 
drake. Sittingbourne. 

BARM [baa-m] sb. Brewer's yeast. (See Stzzn.} 

BARREL DREEN [barr'*l dre-unj sb. A round culvert; a 
sewer ; a drain. 

BARTH [baa-th] sb. A shelter for cattle ; a warm place or 
pasture for calves or lambs. 

BARVEL [baa*vul] sb. A short leathern apron used by 
washerwomen; a slabbering- bib. (See also Barbel 

BAR-WAY [baa-wai] sb. A gate constructed of bars or 
rails, so made as to be taken out of the posts. 

BASH [bash-] vb. To dash ; smash ; beat in. 
" His hat was bashed in." 

BASTARD [bast-urd] sb. A gelding. 

BASTARD-RIG [bast-urdrig-] sb. The smooth hound-fish, 
mustelus Icevts. Folkestone. 

BAT [bat] sb. French Baton. A piece of timber rather 
long than broad ; a staff ; a stick ; a walking-stick. 
The old Parish book of Wye 34, Hen. VIII. speaks 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 9 

of "a tymber-&z" Boteler MS. Account Books cir. 
!664 "pd. John Sillwood, for fetching a batt from 
Canterbury] for a midle piece for my mill, o io s o." 

Shakespeare, in the Lover's Complaint, has, " So 
slides he down upon his grained bat" z'.^.his rough staff. 

Some prisoners were tried in 1885, for breaking out 
of Walmer Barracks ; when the constable said, " One 
of the prisoners struck at me with a bat;" which he 
afterwards defined as being, in this case, " the tarred 
butt-end of a hop-pole." 

BAT [bat] sb. The long handle of a scythe. A large 
rough kind of rubber used for sharpening scythes. 
The stick used for keeping the traces of a plough- 
horse asunder is called " a spread bat" 

BAULLY [bau-li] sb. A boat. (See Bawley.) 

BAVEN [bavin] BAVIN, sb. A little fagot; a fagot of 
brushwood bound with only one wiff, whilst a fagot is 
bound with two. 

" The skipping king, he ambled up and down 
With shallow jesters, and rash bavin wits 
Soon kindled and soon burned. . . ." 

Henry IV. act iii. sc. i. 


"It yearly cost five hundred pounds besides, 
To fence the town from Hull and Humber's tides : 
For stakes, for bavins^ timber, stones, and piles." 

Taylor's Merry Wherry Voyage. 

BAWLEY [bau-li] sb. A small fishing smack used on the 
coasts of Kent and Essex, about the mouth of the 
Thames and Medway. Bawleys are generally about 
40-ft. in length, 13 -ft. beam, 5 -ft. draught, and 15 or 
20 tons measurement ; they differ in rig from a cutter, 
in having no boom to the mainsail, which is conse- 
quently easily brailed-up when working the trawl nets. 
They are half-decked with a wet well to keep fish alive. 

" Hawley, Bawley Hawley, Bawley, 
What have you got in your trawley ? " 

is a taunting rhyme to use to a bawley-man, and has the 
same effect upon him as a red-flag upon a bull or the 
poem of " the puppy pie " upon a bargeman. 

io Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

BAY-BOARDS [bai-bordz] sb. pi. The large folding doors 
of a barn do not reach to the ground, and the inter- 
vening space is closed by four or five moveable boards 
which fit in a groove these are called bay-boards. 

BE [be] vb. For are, am, &c. " Where be you ? " i.e., " Where 
are you?" "I be cominy i.e., " I am coming." This 
use of the word is not uncommon in older English ; 
thus, in ist Collect in the Communion Office, we have 
" Almighty God, unto Whom all hearts be open, all 
desires known, and from Whom no secrets are hid ; " 
and in S. Luke xx. 25. " Render, therefore, unto 
Caesar the things which be Caesar's, and unto God the 
things which be God's." 

BEAN-HOOK [bee*nhuok] sb. A small hook with a short 
handle, for cutting beans. 

BEARBIND [barrbeind] sb. \ Same as Bindweed. 
BEARBINE [barrbein] sb. ) Convolvulus arvensis. 

BEARERS [barrr'urz] sb. pi. The persons who bear or carry 
a corpse to the grave. In Kent, the bier is sometimes 
called a bearer. 

BEASTS [bee'sts] sb. pi. The first two or three meals of 
milk after a cow has calved. (See Biskim, Bismilk, 

BECAUSE WKY [bikau-z whei] interog. adv. Why ? where- 
fore ? A very common controversy amongst boys : 
" No it ain't " 
" Cos why ? " 
" Cos it ain't." 

BECKETT [bek-it] sb. A tough bit of cord by which the 
hook is fastened to the snood in fishing for conger-eels. 

BEDSTEDDLE [bed-stedl] sb. The wooden framework of 
a bed, which supports the actual bed itself. " Item in 
the best chamber, called the great chamber, One fayer 
standing bedsteddle, one feather-bedd, one blanckett, 
one covertleed." Boteler Inventories in Memorials of 
Eastry, p. 224, et seq. (See also, Steddle.} 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 1 1 

BEE-LIQUOR [bee'likur] sb. Mead, made of the washings 
of the combs. 

BEETLE [bee'tl] sb. A wooden mallet, used for splitting 
wood (in conjunction with iron wedges), and for other 
purposes. Each side of the beetle's head is encircled 
with a stout band or ring of iron, to prevent the wood 
from splitting. The phrase "as death [deaf] as a 
beetle," refers to this mallet, and is equivalent to the 
expression " as deaf as a post." 

BEFORE AFTER [bifoa-r'aaffr] adv. Until ; after. 

BEHOLDEN [bihoa'ldun] vb. Indebted to ; under obliga- 
tion to. 

" I wunt be beholden to a Deal-clipper ; leastways, 
not if I knows it." 

BEIST, sb. A temporary bed made up on two chairs for a 
child. Sittingbourne. (Same as Baist.} 

BELATED [bilai-tid] vb. To be after time, especially at 
night, e.g., " I must be off, or I shall get belated." 

BELEFT [bilefr] vb. For believed. 
" I couldn't have beleft it." 

BELOW LONDON, phr. An expression almost as common 
as " the Sheeres," meaning simply, " not in Kent." 

BENDER AND ARRS [bend-ur-un-aarz] sb. pi. Bow and 

BENERTH [ben-urth] sb. The service which the tenant 
owed the landlord by plough and cart. 

BERBINE [burbeen] sb. The verbena. 

BERTH [burth-] vb. To lay down floor boards. The word 
occurs in the old Parish Book of Wye 31 and 35, 
Henry VIII. 

BEST, vb. To best, or get the better of. 
" I shall best ye." 

BESTID [bistid*] adj. Destitute ; forlorn ; in evil case. 

12 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

BETTERMY [bet'urmi] adj. Superior; used for "bettermost." 
" They be rather bettermy sort of folk." 

BEVER [bee-vur] sb. A slight meal, not necessarily accom- 
panied by drink, taken between breakfast and dinner, 
or between dinner and tea. 

BIB [bib] sb. Name among Folkestone fishermen for the 

BIBBER [bib-ur] vb. To tremble. 
" I saw his under lip bibber." 

BIDE [bei*d] vb. To stay. 

"Just you let that bide" i.e., let it be as it is, and 
don't meddle with it. 

BIER-BALKS [bee-r-bauks] sb. pi. Church ways or paths, 
along which a bier and coffin may be carried. 

BIGAROO [big'ur'oo] sb. The whiteheart cherry. 

BILLET [biHt] sb. A spread bat or swingle bar, to which 
horses' traces are fastened. 

BINDER [berndur] sb. A long stick used for hedging ; a 
long, pliable stick of any kind ; thus, walnuts are 
thrashed with a binder. Also applied to the sticks 
used in binding on the thatch of houses or stacks. 

"They shouted fire, and when Master Wood poked 
his head out of the top room window, they hit him as 
hard as they could with long binders, and then jumped 
the dyke, and hid in the barn." 

BING-ALE [bing-ail] sb. Ale given at a tithe feast. 

BIRDES NESTES [birdiz nes-tiz] sb. pi. Birds' nests. This 
old-world phrase was constantly used some few years 
back by some of the ancients of Eastry, who have now 
adopted the more modern pronunciation. 

BISHOP' S-FINGER, sb. A guide post ; so called, according 
to Pegge, because it shows the right way, but does not 
go therein. (See also, Pointing-post.} 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 13 

BISKINS [bisk'inz] sb. pi. In East Kent, they so call the 
two or three first meals of milk after the cow has 
calved. (See also Beasts, Bismilk, Poad-milk.) 

BISMILK [bis-milk] sb. (See Biskins.) 

BLACK-RIND [blak-reind] sb. A small oak that does not 
develop to any size. 

" Them blackrinds won't saw into timber, but they'll 
do for postes." 

BLACKIE [blak-i] sb. A black bird. Sittingbourne. 

BLACK-TAN [blak-tan] sb. Good for nothing. 
" Dat dere pikey is a regler black-fan." 

BLAR [blaar], BLARE [blair] vb. To bellow ; to bleat ; to 

" The old cow keeps ail-on blaring after her calf." 

BLEAT [bleet] adj. Bleak. 
BLIGH [blei] adj. Lonely ; dull. 

BLIV, or BLUV (corruption of Believe) vb. Believe ; believed. 
" I bliv I haant caught sight of him dis three monts." 

BLOOD [bludj sb. A term of pity and commiseration. In 
East Kent, the expression, poor blood, is commonly used 
by the elder people, just as the terms " poor body," 
" poor old body," " poor soul," or " poor dear soul," 
are used elsewhere. 

BLOODINGS [blud-ingz] sb. pi. Black puddings. 
BLOOMAGE [bloo*mij] sb. Plumage of a bird. 

BLOUSE [blouzj (i) vb. To sweat; perspire profusely. "I 
was in a Mousing heat," is a very common expression. 

" An dare we strain'd an stared an bloused, 

And tried to get away ; 
But more we strain'd, de more dey scroug'd 
And sung out, ' Give 'em play.' " 

Dick and Sal, st. 71. 

BLOUSE [blouz] sb. A state of heat which brings high 
colour to the face ; a red-faced wench. 

14 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

BLOUSING [bloirzing] adj. Sanguine and red ; applied to 
the colour often caused by great exertion and heat, 
" a blousing colour." 

BLUE BOTTLES [bloo bot-lz] sb. The wild hyacinth. Scilla 

BLUE-SLUTTERS [bloo-sluf rz]. A very large kind of jelly 
fish . Folkestone. 

BLUNDER [blund*ur] (i) sb. A heavy noise, as of a falling 
or stumbling. 

" I knows dere's some rabbits in de bury, for I heerd 
de blunder o' one." 

BLUNDER [blund-ur] (2) vb. To move awkwardly and noisily 
about ; as, when a person moving in a confined space 
knocks some things over, and throws others down. 
" He was here just now blundering about." 

BLUSTROUS, adj. Blustering. 

" Howsomever, you'll find the wind pretty bhistrous, 
I'm thinking." 

BLY [blei] sb. A resemblance ; a general likeness. [A.S. 
bleOj hue, complexion.] (See Favour, which is now 
more commonly used in East Kent to describe a 

" Ah ! I can see who he be ; he has just the bly of 
his father." 

BOAR-CAT [boa-rkat] sb. A Tom-cat. 

BOBBERY [bob-uri] sb. A squabble ; a row ; a fuss ; a set 

BOBBIN [bob'in] sb. A bundle of firewood (smaller than 
a fagot, and larger than a pimp), whereof each stick 
should be about 18 inches long. Thus, there are three 
kinds of firewood the fagot, the bobbin, and the pimp. 
(See also, Bavin, Kilnbrush, &c.) 

BOBBIN-TUG [bob-in-tug-] sb. A light frame-work of wheels, 
somewhat like a timber-wagon, used for carrying bobbins 
about for sale. It has an upright stick at each of the 
four corners, to keep the bobbins in their places. 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 15 

BOBLIGHT [bob'leit] sb. Twilight. 
Bo-BOY [boa-boi] sb. A scarecrow. 

BODAR [boa-dur] sb. An officer of the Cinque Ports 
whose duty it was to arrest debtors and convey them 
to be imprisoned in Dover Castle. 

BODGE [boj] (i) sb. A wooden basket, such as is used by 
gardeners ; a scuttle-shaped box for holding coals, 
carrying ashes, &c. (See also Trug.} The bodge now 
holds an indefinite quantity, but formerly it was used 
as a peck measure. 

1519. "Paied for settyng of iij busshellis and iij 
boggis of benys and a galon . . . xvj d ." 

MS. Accounts St. Johris Hospital, Canterbury. 

BODGE [boj] (2) sb. An uncertain quantity, about a bushel 
or a bushel and a half. 

" Just carry this bodge of corn to the stable." 

BODILY-ILL [bod-ili-il] adj. phr. A person ill with 
bronchitis, fever, shingles, would be bodily-ill ; but of 
one who had hurt his hand, sprained his ankle, or 
broken his leg, they would say : " Oh, he's not, as you 
may say, bodily -ill." 

BOFFLE [bof-1] (i) vb. To baffle; to bother; to tease; to 
confuse ; to obstruct. 

" I should ha' been here afore now, only for de wind, 
that's what boffled me." 

BOFFLE (2) sb. A confusion; a blunder; a thing managed 
in a confused, blundering way. 

" If you both run the saame side, ye be saafe to have 
a boffle." Cricket Instruction. 

BOIST [boist] sb. A little extempore bed by a fireside for 
a sick person. Boist \ originally meant a box with 
bedding in it, such as the Norwegian beds are now. 
(See Baist.} 

1 6 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

BOLDRUMPTIOUS [boa'ldrumshus or bold-rumshusj adj. 

"That there upstandin' boldrumptious blousing gal 
of yours came blarin' down to our house last night all 
about nothin' ; I be purty nigh tired of it." 

BOND [bond] sb. The wiff or wisp of twisted straw or hay 
with which a sheaf of corn or truss of hay is bound. 
" Where's Tom ? He's with feyther making bonds." 

BONELESS [boa*nlus] sb. A corruption of Boreas, the 
north wind. " In Kent when the wind blows violently 
they say, 'Boneless is at the door/ ' 

BOOBY-HUTCH [boo-bi-huch] sb. A clumsy, ill-contrived, 
covered carriage or seat. 

BOOTSHOES, sb. pi. Thick boots ; half-boots. " Bootshoe 
high," is a common standard of measurement of grass. 
" Dere an't but terr'ble little grass only in de furder 
eend of de fill, but 'tis bootshoe high dere." 

BOP, vb. To throw anything down with a resounding 

BOROW [boroa] sb. A tithing ; the number of ten 
families who were bound to the king for each other's 
good behaviour. 

" That which in the West country was at that time, 
and yet is, called a tithing, is in Kent termed a borow." 
Lambarde, Perambulation of Kent, p. 27. 

BORSHOLDER [boss*oaldur] sb. A head-borough ; a petty- 
constable ; a constable's assistant. At Great Chart 
they had a curious custom of electing a dumb borsholder. 
This is still in existence, and is made of wood, about 
three feet and half an inch long ; with an iron ring at 
the top, and four rings at the sides, by means of which 
it was held and propelled when used for breaking open 
the doors of houses supposed to contain stolen goods. 
(There is an engraving of it in Arch&ologia Cantiana, 
vol. ii. p. 86.) 

BORROW-PENCE, sb. pi. An old name for ancient coins ; 
probably coins found in the tumuli or barrows. 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 17 

BORSTAL [borstul] sb. "A pathway up a hill, gener- 
ally a very steep one." (Perhaps from A.S. beorg a 
hill, stal a seat, dwelling.) Bostal Heath, acquired by 
the Metropolitan Board of Works for an open space 
in 1878, is situated in the extreme south-eastern suburb 
of London, and is one of the most beautiful spots in 
Kent, abounding in hills, ravines, glens, and woods. 
Snakes, owls, and hawks abound in its vicinity, and the 
Heath was formerly occupied by a pure race of gipsies. 
At Whitstable there is a steep hill called Bostal Hill. 

BOSS-EYED [boss-eid] adj. Squinting ; purblind. 
BOSTAL [bost-ul] sb. The same as Borstal. 

BOSTLER [bost-ler] sb. A borsholder or constable. 

" I reckon, when you move you'll want nine men and 
a bostler, shaan't yer" 

BOULT [boalt] vb. To cut pork in pieces, and so to 
pickle it. 

BOULTING- TUB [boa'lting tub] sb. The tub in which the 
pork is pickled. 

1600. "Item in the Buntinghouss, one boultinge, 
with one kneadinge trofe, and one meal tub." 

Boteler Inventory, Memorials of Rastry. p. 228. 

BOUNDS, sb. The phrase, no bounds, is probably the one of 
all others most frequently on the lips of Kentish 
labourers, to express uncertainty. 

"There ain't no bounds to him, he's here, there, and 

BOUT [bout] sb. A period of time ; a " go," or turn. In 
Sussex, it answers to a "day's work;" but in East 
Kent, it is more often applied to a period of hard work, 
or of sickness, e.g. " Poor chap, he's had a long bout of it." 

BOY-BEAT [boi-beet] adj. Beaten by a person younger 
than oneself. 

" My father, he carried the sway at stack building for 
fifteen year ; at last they begun to talk o' puttin' me 
up ; c Now I've done,' the ole chap says 'I wunt be boy- 
beat; ' and so he guv up, and never did no more an't." 

1 8 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

BRACK [brak] sb. A crack ; a rent ; a tear, in clothes. 

1602. "Having a tongue as nimble as his needle, with servile 
patches of glavering flattery, to stitch up the bracks, &c." 

Antonio and Mellida. 

" You tiresome boy, you ! when you put on dat coat 
dare wasn't a brak in it, an' now jest see de state ids in ! " 

BRAKE-PLOUGH [brai-k-plou] sb. A plough for braking, 
or cleaning the ground between growing plants. 

BRAKING [brarking] vb. Clearing the rows betwixt the 
rows of beans with a shim or brake-plough. 

BRAND-IRONS [brand-ei*rnz] sb. pi. The fire-dogs or cob- 
irons which confine the brands on an open hearth. 

" In the great parlor . . . one payer of cob-irons or 
brand-yrons." Boteler Inventory, Memorials of E as try, p. 225. 

BRANDY COW [brand-i kou] sb. A cow that is brindled, 
brinded, or streaked. 

BRAUCH [brauch] sb. Rakings of straw. 

BRAVE [braiv] adj. Large. 

" He just was a brave fox/' 

BRAWCHE [brauch] sb. pi. Same as Branch, above. 

BREAD-AND-BUTTER [bren-but-ur] sb. In Kent these three 
words are used as one substantive, and it is usual to 
prefix the indefinite article and to speak of a bren- 

" I've only had two small brenbutters for my dinner." 

BRENT [brent] adj. Steep. In a perambulation of the 
outbounds of the town of Faversham, made in 1611, 
" the Brent " and " the Brent gate " are mentioned. 
The Middle-English word Brent most commonly meant 
" burnt ; " but there was another Brent \ an adjective, 
which signified steep, and it was doubtless used here in 
the latter sense, to describe the conformation of the land. 

BRET [bret] (\)sb. To fade away; to alter. Standing corn 
so ripe that the grain falls out, is said to bret out. (See 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 19 

BRET [bret] (2) vb. A portion of wood torn off with the 
strig in gathering fruit. (See Spatter.) 

BRIEF [breef] (i) sb. A petition drawn up and carried round 
for the purpose of collecting money. Formerly, money 
was collected in Churches, on briefs, for various chari- 
table objects, both public and private ; and in some old 
Churches you may even now find a Brief Book, contain- 
ing the names of the persons or places on whose behalf 
the Brief was taken round, the object, and the amounts 
collected. Public briefs (see Communion Office, rubrics 
after the Creed), like Queen's Letters, have fallen into 
disuse ; and now only private and local Briefs are 
in vogue. 

BRIEF [breef] (2) adj. Common ; plentiful ; frequent ; rife. 
" Wipers are wery brief here," i.e., Vipers are very 
common here. 

BRIMP [brimp] sb. The breeze or gad fly which torments 
bullocks and sheep. 

BRIMS [brimz]. The same as above. 

Kennett, MS. Lans., 1033, gives the phrase 
" You have brims in your tail," i.e., " You are always 

BRIMSEY [brimz-i]. The same as above. 

BRISK [brish] vb. To brush ; to mow over lightly, or trim. 
1636. "For shredinge of the ashes and brishinge of 
the quicksettes .... vj d ." 

MS. Accounts St. Johris Hospital, Canterbury. 

BRIT [brit] vb. To knock out ; rub out ; drop out. Spoken 
of corn dropping out, and of hops shattering. (See 

BROACH [broach] sb. A spit. This would seem to be the 
origin of the verb, " to broach a cask," " to broach a 

BROCKMAN [brok-man] sb. A horseman. (See Brok.) The 
name Brockman is still common in Kent. 

20 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

BROK, BROCK [brok] sb. An inferior horse. The word is 
used by Chaucer, Canterbury Tales, 7125. 

BROKE [broak] sb. A rupture. 

BROOK [bruokj vb. To brook one's name, is to answer in 
one's disposition to the purport of one's name. In 
other places they would say, " Like by name and like 
by nature." 

" Seems as though Mrs. Buck makes every week 
washin' week ; she brooks her name middlin', anyhows." 

BROOKS [bruoks] sb. pi. Low, marshy ground, but not 
necessarily containing running water or even springs. 

BROOM-DASHER [broom-daslrur] sb. One who goes about 
selling brooms ; hence used to designate any careless, 
slovenly, or dirty person. " The word dasher is also 
combined in haberdasher." 

BROWN-DEEP [brou*n-deep] adj. Lost in reflection. 

BROWSELLS [brou-zlz] sb. pi. The remains of the fleed 
of a pig, after the lard has been extracted by boiling. 

BRUCKLE [bruk-1] adj. Brittle. 

BRUFF [bruf] adj. Blunt ; rough ; rude in manner. 

BRUMPT [brumpt] adj. Broken ; bankrupt. 

" I'm quite brumpt" i.e., I have no money. 

BRUNGEON [brunj-yun] sb. A brat ; a neglected child. 

BRUSH [bruosh and brush] vb. To trim hedges ; to mow 
rough grass growing thinly over a field. 

" Jack's off hedge-Jtrusfong." 

1540. "To Saygood for brusshyng at Hobbis mea- 
dow .... vj d ." 

MS. Accounts St. John's Hospital, Canterbury. 

BRUSS [brus] adj. Brisk ; forward ; petulant ; proud. 

" Dese 'ere bees be middlin' bruss this marnin', there 
ain't no goin' into de garden for 'em, they've bit me 
three times already." 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 2 1 

BRUT [brut] (i) vb. To browse or nibble off young 

In the printed conditions of the sale of Kentish 
cherry-orchards, there is generally a clause against 
" excessive ^rutting" i.e., that damage so done by the 
purchasers must be paid for. 

BRUT [brut] (2) vb. To shoot, as buds or potatoes. 
" My taturs be bruited pretty much dis year." 

BRUT [brut] (3) vb. To break off the young shoots (bruts) of 
stored potatoes. 

BUCK [buk] (i) vb. To wash. 

BUCK [buk] (2) sb. A pile of clothes ready for washing. 

It is now (1885) some 60 years ago since the farmers 
washed for their farm servants, or allowed them a 
guinea a year instead. Then the lye, soap, and other 
things were kept in the bunting house; and there, too, 
were piled the gaberdines, and other things waiting to 
be washed until there was enough for one buck. 

Shakespeare uses the word 3^^-basket for what we 
now call "a clothes basket!' 

"Fal. . . . They conveyed me into a buck-basket. Ford. A buck- 
basket! Fal. By the Lord, a buck-basket; rammed me in with foul 

shirts and smocks, socks, foul stockings, greasy napkins " 

Merry Wives of Windsor , act iii. sc. 5. 

BUCK [buk] (3) vb. To fill a basket. 

BUCKING [buk- ing] CHAMBER, sb. The room in which the 
clothes were bucked, or steeped in lye, preparatory to 

BUCK- WASH [buk-wash] sb. A great washing-tub, formerly 
used in farm-houses, when, once a quarter, they washed 
the clothes of the farm servants, soaking them in strong 

BUD [bud] sb. A weaned calf that has not yet grown into 
a heifer. So called, because the horns have not grown 
out, but are in the bud. 

" His cow came to y e racks a moneth before Christ- 
mas, and went away y e 2 1 of January. His bud came 
at Michaelmas." Boteler MS. Account Book of 1652. 

22 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

BUFF [buf] sb. A clump of growing flowers ; " a tuft or 

" That's a nice buff of cloves " (pinks). 

BUFFLE-HEADED [bufH-hecHd] adj. Thick-headed; stupid. 

" Yees ; you shall pay, you truckle bed, 
Ya buffle-headed ass." 

Dick and Sal, st. 84. 
BUG [bug] (i)vb. To bend. 

BUG [bug] (2) sb. A general name for any insect, especially 
those of the fly and beetle kind ; e.g.. May-bug, Lady- 
bug, June-bug, July-bug. 

BULL-HUSS [bul-hus] sb. The large spotted dog-fish. 
Scyllium catulus. 

BULLOCK [bul-uk] sb. pi. A fatting beast of either sex. 
BULL-ROUT [bul-rout] sb. The goby. 

BUMBLE [bumb-1] vb. To make a humming noise. Hence, 
bumble bee, a humble bee. 

BUMBLESOME [bumb'lsum] adj. Awkward ; clumsy; ill- 

" That dress is far too bumblesome." 

" You can't car' that, you'll find it wery bumblesome." 

BUMBULATION [bumbulai'shn]. A humming noise. 

BUNT [bunt] (i) vb. To shake to and fro; to sift the meal 
or flour from the bran. 

BUNT [bunt] (2) vb. To butt. 

"De old brandy-cow bunted her and purty nigh 
broke her arm." 

BUNTING [bunt-ing] (i) adj. The bunting house is the out- 
house in which the meal is sifted. (See Bunt above.) 

" Ite in the chamber over the buntting house, &c." 
" Item in the Buntinge houss, one boulting with one 
kneading trofe, and one meale tub." Boteler Inventory ; 
in Memorials of Eastry, pp. 225, 228. 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 23 

BUNTING [bunt-ing] (2) sb. A shrimp. 

BUNTING [bunHng]-HUTCH [huch] sb. A boulting hutch, 
i.e., the bin in which the meal is bunted or bolted. 

1 600. " Ite in the buntting house, one Bunting hutch , 
two kneading showles, a meale tub w th other lumber 

there prized at vj s . viij d . Boteler Inventory; 

Memorials of E as try, p. 226. 

BURR [bur] (i) sb. A coagulated mass of bricks, which 
by some accident have refused to become separated, 
but are a sort of conglomerate. 

BURR [bur] (2) sb. The halo or circle round the moon is 
so called, e.g., " There was a burr round the moon last 

The weather-wise in East Kent will tell you, " The 
larger the burr the nearer the rain." 

BURR [bur] (3) sb. The blossom of the hop. 
" The hops are just coming out in burr." 

BURY [berr'-i] sb. A rabbit burrow. 

BUSH [bush] sb. Used specially and particularly of the 
gooseberry bush. "Them there bushes want pruning 

BUTT [but] sb. A small flat fish, otherwise called the 
flounder. They are caught in the river at Sandwich 
by spearing them in the mud, like eels. But at Margate 
they call turbots butts, 

BY-BUSH [bei-bush] adv. In ambush, or hiding. 

" I just stood by-bush and heard all they said." 

BYSACK [bei-sak] sb. A satchel, or small wallet. 

BYTHE [beith] sb. The black spots on linen produced by 
mildew. (See Abited.} 

BYTHY [bei-thi] adj. Spotted with black marks left by 

" When she took the cloth out it was all bythy" 

BYST [beist] sb. A settle or sofa. (See Baist, Boist, above.) 

24 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 


CAD [kad] sb. A journeyman shoemaker ; a cobbler ; 
hence a contemptuous name for any assistant. 
" His uncle, the shoemaker's cad." 

CADE [kaid] sb. A barrel containing six hundred herrings ; 
any parcel, or quantity of pieces of beef, less than a 
whole quarter. 

" Cade. We John Cade, so termed of our supposed father. 
Dick. Or rather, of stealing a cade of herrings." 

//. King Henry VI. act iv. sc. 2. 

CADE-LAMB [kaid-lam] sb. A house-lamb ; pet lamb. 
CADLOCK [ked'luk] sb. Charlock. Sinapis arvensis. 
CAILES [kailz] sb. pi. Skittles ; ninepins. 
CAKE-BAIL. A tin or pan in which a cake is baked. 

CALIVER [kaHvur] sb. A large pistol or blunderbuss. 

1600. "It in Jonathan Boteler's chamb 1 ' fower 
chestes w th certain furniture for the warrs, viz., two 
corsletts, one Jack, two musketts, fur one Horseman's 
piec, fur one case of daggs, two caliurs, fur w th swords 
and daggers prized at .... iiij 11 ." Boteler Inventory; 
Memorials of Eastry, p. 225. 

CALL [kaul] (i) sb. A word in every-day use denoting 
necessity, business, but always with the negative 

" There ain't no call for you to get into a passion/' 

CALL-OVER [kaul-oa-vur] vb. To find fault with ; to abuse. 
" Didn't he call me over jist about." 

CALLOW [kal-oa] adj. Smooth; bald; bare; with little 
covering; also used of underwood thin on the ground. 

" 'Tis middlin' rough in them springs, but you'll find 
it as callow more, in the high wood." 

In Sussex the woods are said to be getting callow 
when they are just beginning to bud out. 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 25 

CARF [kaaf] sb. A cutting of hay ; a quarter of a stack 
cut through from top to bottom. 

" Dick staggered with a carf of hay 

To feed the bleating sheep ; 
Proud thus to usher in the day, 
While half the world's asleep." 

Dick and Sat, st. 2. 

CANKER-BERRY [kank-ur-beri] sb. The hip ; hence canker- 
rose, the rose that grows upon the wild briar. Rosa 

" The cancer-blooms have full as deep a dye 
As the perfumed tincture of the roses." 

Shakespeare Sonnets, liv. 

CANT [kant] (i) sb. A portion of corn or woodland. 

Every farm-bailiff draws his cant furrows through the 
growing corn in the spring, and has his cant-book for 
harvest, in which the measurements of the cants appear, 
and the prices paid for cutting each of them. 

CANT [kant] (2) vb. To tilt over ; to upset ; to throw. 
" The form canted up, and over we went." 

CANT [kant] (3) sb. A push, or throw. 

" I gave him a cant, jus' for a bit of fun, and fancy 
he jus was spiteful, and called me over, he did." 

CANTEL [kant'l] sb. An indefinite number; a cantel of 
people, or cattle; diminutive of cant (i). A corner or 
portion of indefinite dimension ; a cantel of wood, bread, 
cheese, &c. 

" See how this river comes me cranking in, 
And cuts me, from the best of all my land, 
A huge half moon, a monstrous cantle out." 

King Henry IV. pt. I. act iii. sc. I. 

CANTERBURY-BELLS, sb. pi. The wild campanula. Cam- 
panula medicus. The name is probably connected with 
the idea of the resemblance of the flowers to the small 
bells carried on the trappings of the horses of the 
pilgrims to the shrine of S. Thomas, at Canterbury. 
There are two kinds, large and small; both abound in 
the neighbourhood of Canterbury. 

2 6 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

CAP [kap] sb. Part of the flail which secures the middle- 
band to the hands fajfoT the swingel, as the case may be. 
A flail has two caps, viz., the hand-staff cap, generally 
made of wood, and the swingel cap, made of leather. 

CAPONS [kai-punz] sb. pi. Red herrings. (See the list of 
Nicknames Ramsgate.) 

CAR [kaa] vb. To carry. 

" He said dare was a teejus fair 

Dat lasted for a wick ; 
And all de ploughmen dat went dare, 
Must car dair shining stick." 

Dick and Sal, st. 8. 

CARD [kaad]. (See Cade.} 

Lewis, p. 129, mentions a card of red-herrings 
amongst the merchandise paying rates at Margate 

CARPET-WAY [kaa-pit-wai] sb. A green-way ; a smooth 
grass road ; or lyste way. 

CARRY-ON [karr'i-on] vb. To be in a passion; to act 

" He's been carrying-on any-how." 

CARVET [kaa-vet] sb. A thick hedge-row ; a copse by the 
roadside ; a piece of land carved out of another. Used 
in the neighbourhood of Lympne, in Dr. Pegge's time ; 
so also, in Boteler MS. Account Books, there are the 
following entries " Y e Chappell caruet at Sopeshall 
that I sold this year to John Birch at 5 o o y e acre, 
cont[ained] beside the w[oo]dfall round, i acre and 9 
perches, as Dick Simons saith, who felled it." "I have 
valued one caruet at Brinssdale at 7*00 y e acre, y e 
other caruet at 6 o o the acre." "Y e one caruet 
cont[ained] i yerd and i perch; y e other halfe a yerd 
want [ing] i perch" [i.e., one perch wanting half a yard]. 

CAST [kaast] sb. The earth thrown up above the level of 

the ground by moles, ants, and worms, and therefore 

called a worm-cast, an emmet-cast, or a mole-^^, as the 

case might be. 

"Them wum-caastes do make the lawn so weryunlevel." 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 27 

CAST [kaast] vb. To be thwarted ; defeated ; to lose an 
action at law. 

"They talk of carr'ing it into court, but I lay he'll 
be cast." 

CATER [kai-tur] vb. To cut diagonally. 

CATERWAYS [kai-turwaiz] adv. Obliquely ; slantingly ; 

" He stood aback of a tree and skeeted water caterways 
at me with a squib." 

CAVING [karvin] sb. The refuse of beans and peas after 
threshing, used for horse-meat. W. Kent. Called 
taufy toff, in E. Kent. 

CAWL [kaul] sb. A coop. 

CAXES [kaks'ez] sb. pi. Dry hollow stalks ; pieces of bean 
stalk about eight inches long, used for catching earwigs 
in peach and other wall-fruit trees. 

CEREMONY [serr'imuni] sb. A fuss; bother; set-out. Thus 
a woman once said to me, " There's quite a ceremony 
if you want to keep a child at home half-a-day." By 
which she meant that the school regulations were very 
troublesome, and required a great deal to be done 
before the child could be excused. W. F. S. 

CHAMPIONING [champ*yuning] partc. The lads and men 
who go round as mummers at Christmastide, singing 
carols and songs, are said to go championing. Probably 
the word is connected with St. George the Champion, 
who is a leading character in the Mummers' play. 

CHANGES [chai-njiz] Changes of raiment, especially 
of the underclothing ; body-linen, shirts, or shifts. 

" I have just put on clean changes" i.e., I have just 
put on clean underclothing. 

1 65 1 . "For two changes for John Smith's boy, 040. 
For two changes for Spaynes girle, o 2 10." 
MS. Overseers' Accounts, Holy Cross, Canterbury. 

28 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

CHANGK [chank] vb. To chew. 

CHARNELL, CHARNAIL, sb. A hinge. Perhaps Char-nail, 
a nail to turn on. 

1520. "For ij hookis and a charnelle ij d ." 

MS. Accounts St. John's Hospital, Canterbury. 

1631. "For charnells and hapses for the two chests 
in our hall/' MS. Accounts St. John's Hospital, Canterbury. 

CHARRED [chaa-d] adj. Drink that is soured in the 
brewing. If, in brewing, the water be too hot when it 
is first added to the malt, the malt is said to be 
charred and will not give its strength, hence beer that 
is brewed from it will soon turn sour. The word 
charred thus first applies properly to the malt, and 
then passes to the drink brewed from it. To char is to 
turn ; we speak of beer being " turned." 

CHART [chaa-t] sb. A rough common, overrun with gorse, 
broom, bracken, &c. Thus we have several places in 
Kent called Chart, e.g., Great Chart, Little Chart, Chart 
Sutton, Brasted Chart. 

CHARTY [chaa-ti] adj. Rough, uncultivated land, like a 

CHASTISE [chasterz] vb. To accuse ; to examine ; cross 
question ; catechize. 

" He had his hearings at Faversham t'other day, and 
they chastised him of it, but they couldn't make nothin' 
of him." 

CHAT, sb. A rumour ; report. 

" They say he's a-going to live out at Hoo, leastways, 
that's the chat" 

CHATS [chats] sb. pi. Small potatoes; generally the 
pickings from those intended for the market. 

CHATSOME [chat-sum] adj. Talkative. 
CHAVISH [chai-vish] adj. Peevish; fretful. 

CHEE [chee], or HEN-CHEE [hen-chee] sb. A roost. 
" The fowls are gone to chee." 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 29 

CHEEGE [cheeg] sb. A frolic. 

CHEER [cheer] sb. Constantly used in N. Kent, in the 
phrase, " What cheer , meat ?" as a greeting; instead of 
" How d'ye do, mate ? " or " How 're ye getting on ? " 

CHEERLY [chee-rli] adv. Cheerfully. 

" The bailiff's boy had overslept, 

The cows were not put in ; 
But rosy Mary cheerly stept 
To milk them on the green." 

Dick and Sat, st. I. 

CHEESE-BUG [chee*z-bug] sb. The wood-louse. 

CHEF [chef] sb. The part of a plough on which the share 
is placed, and to which the reece is fixed. 

CHERRY APPLES [cherr'i ap-lz] sb. pi. Siberian crabs, or 
choke cherries. 

CHERRY-BEER, sb. A kind of drink made from cherries. 

Pudding-pies and cherry-beer usually go together at 
these feasts [at Easter]. 

Brand's Popular Antiquities, ed. Ellis i. 180. 

CHIDLINGS [chid-linz] sb. pi. Chitterlings. 

CHILLERY [chil-uri] adj. Chilly. 

CHILL-WATER [chil-wau-tr] sb. Water luke-warm. 

CHILTED [chilt-id] pp. Strong local form of chilled, 
meaning thoroughly and injuriously affected by the cold. 

CHINCH [chinch] vb. To point or fill up the interstices 
between bricks, tiles, &c., with mortar. E. Kent. 

CHITTER [chit-ur] sb. The wren. 

" In the N. of England they call the bird Chitty 

CHIZZEL [chiz-1] sb. Bran. 

CHOATY [choa-ti] adj. Chubby ; broad faced. 
" He's a choaty boy." 

3O Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

CHOCK [chok] vb. To choke. Anything over-full is said 
to be chock-fu&. 

CHOFF [chof] adj. Stern ; morose. 

CHOICE [chois] adj. Careful of; setting great store by 

" Sure, he is choice over his peas, and no mistake ! " 

CHOP-STICKS [chop-stiks] sb. pi. Cross-sticks to which the 
lines are fastened in pout-fishing. 

"Two old umbrella iron ribs make capital chop- 
sticks:' F. Buckland. 

CHRIST-CROSS [kris-kras] sb. The alphabet. An early 
school lesson preserved in MS. Rawl., 1032, commences 
" Christe crosse me speed in alle my worke." The 
signature of a person who cannot write is also so called. 

" She larnt her A B C ya know, 
Wid D for dunce and dame, 
An all dats in de criss-crass row, 
An how to spell her name." 

Dick and Sat, st. 57. 

CHUCK [chuk] sb. A chip ; a chunk ; a short, thick clubbed 
piece of wood ; a good thick piece of bread and cheese ; 
the chips made by sharpening the ends of hop-poles. 

CHUCK-HEADED [chuk-hed-id] CHUCKLE-HEADED [chuk-1- 
hed'id] adj. A stupid, doltish, wooden-headed fellow. 

CHUFF [chuf] adj. Fat ; chubby. (See Choaty above.) 
CHUMMIE [chunri] sb. A chimney sweep. 
CHUNK [chungk] sb. A log of wood. 

CHURCHING, sb. The Church service generally, not the 
particular Office so called. 

" What time's Churchiri now of afternoons ? " 
CLAM [klam] sb. A rat-trap, like a gin. 

CLAMP [klamp] sb. A heap of mangolds, turnips, or 
potatoes covered with straw and earth to preserve 
them during the winter. It is also used of bricks. 

" We must heal in that clamp afore the frostes set in." 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 3 1 

CLAMS [klamz] sb. pi. Pholades. Rock and wood-boring 

CLAPPERS [klap-urz] sb. pi. Planks laid on supports for 
foot passengers to walk on when the roads are flooded. 

CLAPSE [klaps] sb. A clasp, or fastening. 

1651. "For Goodwife Spaynes girles peticoate and 
waistcoate making, and elapses, and bindinge, and a 
pockett, o i 8 d ." 

Overseers' Accounts, Holy Cross, Canterbury. 

CLAT [klat] vb. To remove the clots of dirt, wool, &c., 
from between the hind legs of sheep. (Romney Marsh.) 
(See also Dag.) 

CLAVEL [klavl] sb. A grain of corn free from the husk. 
CLAYT [klaait] sb. Clay, or mire. 

CLEAN [kleen] adv. Wholly; entirely. 
" He's clean gone, that's certain/' 

161 1. " Until all the people were passed clean over 
Jordan." Joshua iii. 17. 

CLEANSE [klenz] vb. To tun, or put beer up into the barrel. 
CLEDGE [klej] sb. Clay ; stiff loam. 
CLEDGY [klej*i] adj. Stiif and sticky. 

CLEVEL [klevl] sb. A grain of corn, clean and free from 
husk. As our Blessed Lord is supposed to have left 
the mark of a Cross on the shoulder of the ass' colt, 
upon which He rode at His triumphal entry into 
Jerusalem (St. Mark xi. 7) ; and as the mark of a thumb 
and fore-finger may still be traced in the head of a 
haddock, as though left by St. Peter when he opened 
the fish's mouth to find the piece of money (St. 
Matthew xvii. 27), even so it is a popular belief in 
East Kent that each clevel of wheat bears the likeness 
of Him who is the True Corn of Wheat (St. John xii. 
24). As a man said to me at Eastry (1887) "Brown 
wheat shews it more than white, because it's a bigger 
clevel." To see this likeness the clevel must be held 
with the seam of the grain from you. W. F. S. 

32 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

CLEVER [klevur] adj. In good health. 

Thus, it is used in reply to the question, " How are 
you to-day? " "Well, thankee, not very clever" i.e., not 
very active ; not up to much exertion. 

CLITE [kleit] sb. Clay. 
CLITEY [klei-ti] adj. Clayey. 

CLIMBERS [klei'murz] sb. The wild clematis ; clematis 
mtalba, otherwise known as old man's beard. 

CLINKERS [klingk-urz] sb. pi. The hard refuse cinders of a 
furnace, stove, or forge, which have run together in 
large clots. 

CLIP [klip] vb. To shear sheep. 

OLIVER [klivr] sb. Goose-grass; elsewhere called cleavers. 
Gallium aperine. 

CLODGE [kloj] sb. A lump of clay. 

CLOSE [kloas] sb. The enclosed yard, or fenced-in field 
adjoining a farm house. 

Thus, at Eastry we speak of Hamel Close, which is 
an enclosed field immediately adjoining Eastry Court. 
So, a Kentish gentleman writes in 1645 : "This was 
the third crop of hay some closes about Burges had 
yealded that yeare." Bargrave MS. Diary. 

The word is often met with in Kentish wills ; thus, 
Will of Thomas Godfrey, 1542, has, " My barne .... 
with the dosses to the same appertayning." 

CLOUT [klout] (i) sb. A blow with the palm of the hand. 
" Mind what ye'r 'bout or I will gie ye a clout on the 

(2) A clod, or lump of earth, in a ploughed field. 

CLUCK [kluk] adj. Drooping; slightly unwell ; used, also, 
of a hen when she wants to sit. 

" I didn't get up so wery early dis marnin', as I felt 
rather cluck." 

CLUNG [klung] adj. Withered ; dull ; out of temper. 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 33 

CLUTHER [kluth-r], CLUTTER [klut-r] (i) sb. (i.) A great 
noise, (ii.) A litter. 

" There's always such a lot of clutter about his room/' 

CLUTHER [kludh-ur], CLUTTER [klut-ur] (2) vb. To make 
a noise generally, as by knocking things together. 
Used also of the special sound made by rabbits in 
their hole, just before they bolt out, e.g., " I 'eerd 'im 
cluther" i.e., I heard him make a noise ; and implying, 
" Therefore, he will soon make a bolt." A variant of 

COAL-SHOOT [koa-1-shoo-t] sb. A coal scuttle. 
COARSE [koars] adj. Rough, snowy, windy weather. 
COB [kob] vb. To throw gently. 
COBBLE [kob-1] sb. An icicle. 

COB-IRONS [kob-eirnz] sb. pi. And-irons ; irons standing 
on the hearth, and intended to keep the brands and 
burning coals in their place ; also the irons by which 
the spit is supported. 

" One payer of standing cob-yrons." " One 

payer of cob-irons or brand-irons." ..." Item in the 

Greate Hall a payer of cob-irons." Boteler 

Inventories in the Memorials of Eastry. 

COCK-BELL [kok-bel] sb. An icicle. 

The Bar grave MS. Diary, describing the weather 
in France in the winter of 1645 says, " My beard had 
sometimes yce on it as big as my little finger, my 
breath turning into many cock-bells as I walked." 

COCKER [kok-ur] vb. To indulge ; to spoil. 

Ecclus. xxx. 9. " Cocker thy child and he shall make 
thee afraid." 

COCKLE [kok-1] sb. A stove used for drying hops. 

COG-BELL [kog-bel] sb. pi. An icicle. (See Cock-bell 
above); Lewis writes cog-bells; and so the word is 
now pronounced in Eastry. 

"There are some large cog-bells hanging from the 

34 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

COGUE [koag] sb. A dram of brandy. 
COILER-HARNESS. The trace harness. 

COLD [koald] sb. In phrase, " Out of cold." 

Water is said to be out of cold when it has just got 
the chill off. 

COLLAR [kol*ur] sb. Smut in wheat. 

COLLARMAKER [kol'ur-markur] sb. A saddler who works 
for farmers ; so called, because he has chiefly to do 
with the mending and making of horses' collars. 

COMB [koam] sb. An instrument used by thatchers to beat 
down the straw, and then smooth it afterwards. 

COMBE [koom] sb. A valley. This word occurs in a great 
number of place-names in Kent. 

COME [kum] prep. On such a day, or at such a time when 
it arrives. 

" It'll be nine wiks come Sadderday sin* he were 
took bad." 

COMPOSANT [konrpuzant] sb. The luminous appearance 
sometimes seen on the masts and yards of ships at sea, 
the result of electricity in the air. 

" Besides hearing strange sounds, the poor fisherman 
often sees the composant. As he sails along, a ball 
of fire appears dancing about the top of his mast ; it 
is of a bluish, unearthly colour, and quivers like a 
candle going out ; sometimes it shifts from the mast- 
head to some other portion of the vessel, where there 
is a bit of pointed iron ; and sometimes there are two 
or three of them on different parts of the boat. It 
never does anybody any harm, and it always comes 
when squally weather is about. 

"Englishmen are not good hands at inventing names 
and I think the Folkestone people most likely picked 
up the word from the Frenchmen whom they meet out at 
sea in pursuit of herrings." F. Buckland. 

CONCLUDE [konkleu-d] vb. To decide. 

" So he concluded to stay at home for a bit." 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 35 

CONE [koan] vb. To crack or split with the sun, as timber 
is apt to do ; as though a wedge had been inserted in 
it. A derivative of Anglo-Saxon cinan y to split. 

CONE- WHEAT [koan-weet] sb. Bearded wheat. 

CONNIVER [konei-vur] sb. To stare ; gape. 

" An so we sasselsail'd along 

And crass de fields we stiver' d, 
While dickey lark kept up his song 
An at de clouds conniver'd? 

Dick and Sal, st. 26. 

CONTRAIRY [contrarr'i] adj. Disagreeable; unmanageable. 
" Drat that child, he's downright contrairy to-day." 

CONTRAIRIWISE [contrarr'iweiz] adv. On the contrary. 

CONYGARTHE [kun'igaath] sb. A rabbit warren. 

Lambarde, 1596. "The Isle of Thanet, and those 
Easterne partes are the grayner ; the Weald was the 
wood ; Rumney Marsh is the meadow plot ; the North 
downes towards the Thaymse be the conygarthe or 

COOCH GRASS, sb. Triticum repens, a coarse, bad species 
of grass, which grows rapidly on arable land, and does 
much mischief with its long stringy roots. 

COOL-BACK [kool-bak] sb, A shallow vat, or tub, about 
12 or 1 8 inches deep, wherein beer is cooled. 

" Item in the brewhouse, two brewinge tonns, one 
coole-back, two furnisses, fower tubbs with other .... 
vj 11 . xiiij 8 ." Boteler Inventory, Memorials of Eastry, p. 

COP [kop] sb. A shock of corn ; a stack of hay or straw. 
vb. To throw ; to heap anything up. 

COPE [koap] vb. To muzzle; thus, "to cope a ferret" is to 
sew up its mouth. 

COPSE [kops] sb. A fence across a dyke which has no 
opening. A term used in marshy districts. 

36 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

CORBEAU [korboa] sb. The fish Coitus gobio, elsewhere 
called the miller's thumb, or bull-head. 

CORD-WOOD [kord-wuod] sb. A pile of wood, such as split- 
up roots and trunks of trees stacked for fuel. A cord 
of wood should measure eight feet long x four feet 
high X four feet thick. 

CORSE [kors] sb. The largest of the cleavers used by a 

COSSET [kos'it] vb. To fondle ; to caress ; to pet. 

COSSETY [kos-iti] adj. Used of a child that has been 
petted, and expects to be fondled and caressed. 

COST [koast] sb. A fore-quarter of lamb ; " a rib/' 
COTCHERING [koclruring] partc. Gossiping. 

COTERELL [koHr'el] sb. A little raised mound in the 
marshes to which the shepherds and their flocks can 
retire when the salterns are submerged by the tide. 

COTTON [kot-on] vb. To agree together, or please each 

" They cannot cotton no-how ! " 
COUCH-GRASS [kooch-grass] sb. (See Cooch-grass.) 

COUPLING BAT [kup-lin bat] sb. A piece of round wood 
attached to the bit (in W. Kent), or ringle (in E. Kent), 
of two plough horses to keep them together. 

COURT [koart], or COURT LODGE [koart loj] sb. The 
manor house, where the court leet of the manor is held. 
Thus, Eastry Court is the old house, standing on the 
foundations of the ancient palace of the Kings of Kent, 
wherein is held annually the Court of the Manor of 

COURT-CUPBOARD [koart-cub-urd] sb. A sideboard or 
cabinet used formerly to display the silver flagons, 
cups, beakers, ewers, &c., i.e., the family plate, and 
distinguished from " the livery cupboard," or wardrobe. 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 37 

In the Boteler Inventory, we find that there were in the 
best chamber " Half-a-dowson of high joynd stooles, 
fower low joynd cushian stooles, two chayers, one court 
cubbard, &c." Memorials of Eastry, p. 225 ; and again 
on p. 227 : "In the greate parler, one greate table . . . 
one courte cubbard, one greate chayer, &c." 

"Away with the joint-stools, remove the court cupboard, look 
to the plate." Romeo and Juliet, act i. sc. 5. 

COURT FAGGOT [koart fag-ut] sb. This seems to have been 
the name, anciently given, to the best and choicest 
kind of fagot. 

1523. "For makyng of x loodis of court fagot, 
iij s ., iiijV Accounts of St. John's Hospital, Canterbury. 

COVE [koav] sb. A shed ; a lean-to or low building with 
a shelving roof, joined to the wall of another; the 
shelter which is formed by the projection of the eaves 
of a house acting as a roof to an outbuilding. 

COVED [koa'vd] adj. With sloping sides ; used of a room, 
the walls of which are not perpendicular, but slant 
inwards, thus forming sides and roof. 

" Your bedsteddle couldn't stand there, because the 
sides are coved!' 

COVE-KEYS [koa-v-keez] sb. pi. Cowslips. (See also Culver 
keys, Horsebuckle, Peigle?) 

COVEL [kovl] sb. A water tub with two ears. 

COVERTLID [kuvurtlid], COVERLYD [kuvurlid] sb. The 
outer covering of the bed which lies above the blankets ; 
a counterpane. 

In the Boteler Inventory we find "In the best chamber 
.... one fether bedd, one blanckett, one covertleed. 
Item in the lower chamber .... two coverleeds. Item 
in the midell chamber .... a coverlyd and boulster." 
Memorials of Eastry, p. 224. 

COVEN [koa-vn] adj. Sloped; slanted. 

" It has a coven ceiling." (See also, Cove, Coved.} 

38 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

Cow [kou] sb. A pitcher. 

Cow' [kou], COWL [koul] sb. The moveable wooden top 
of the chimney of a hop-oast or malt-house. 

COW-CRIB [kou-krib] sb. The square manger for holding 
hay, &c., which stands in the straw-yard, and is so 
constructed as to be low at the sides and high at the 

CRACK-NUT [krak-nut] sb. A hazel nut, as opposed to 
cocoa nuts, Brazil nuts, &c. 

CRAMP- WORD, sb. A word difficult to be understood. 

" Our new parson, he's out of the sheeres, and he 
uses so many of these here cramp-words." 

CRANK [krangk] (i) adj. Merry ; cheery. 
CRANK [krangk] (2) vb. To mark cross-wise. 

CREAM [kreem] vb. To crumble. Hops, when they are too 
much dried are said to cream, i.e., to crumble to pieces. 

GREET [kreet] sb. A cradle, or frame- work of wood, placed 
on a scythe when used to cut corn. 

CRIPS [krips] adj. Crisp. Formed by transposition, as 
Aps for Asp, &c. (See Crup below.) 

CRIPT [kript] adj. Depressed ; out of spirits. (See also, 
Cr uppish.} 

CROCK [krok] (i) sb. An earthen pan or pot, to be found 
in every kitchen, and often used for keeping butter, 
salt, &c. It is a popular superstition that if a man 
goes to the place where the end of a rainbow rests he 
will find there a crock of gold. 

A.D. 1536. "Layd owt for a crok. . . ." 

Accounts of St. John's Hospital, Canterbury. 

CROCK [krok] (2) vb. To put away ; lay by ; save up ; hide. 

" Ye'd better by half give that butter away, instead 
of crocking it up till it's no use to nobody." 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 39 

CROCK BUTTER [krok but-ur] si. Salt butter which has been 
put into earthenware crocks to keep during the winter. 

CROFT [krauft] sb. A vault. 

CROSHABELL [krosh-ubel] sb. A courtezan. 

CROW [kroa] sb. The fat adhering to a pig's liver ; hence, 
" liver and crow " are generally spoken of and eaten 

CROW-FISH [kroa-fish] sb. The common stickleback. 
Gasterosteus aculeatus. 

CRUMMY [krunri] adj. Filthy and dirty, and covered 
with vermin. 

CRUP [krup] (i) sb. The crisp, hard skin of a roasted pig, 
or of roast pork (crackling) ; a crisp spice-nut; a nest. 

" There's a wapses crup in that doated tree." 

CRUP [krup] (2) adj. Crisp. 

" You'll have a nice walk, as the snow is very crup." 

CRUPPISH [krup-ish] adj. Peevish ; out of sorts. A man 
who has been drinking overnight will sometimes say 
in the morning : " I feel cruppish" 

CUCKOO BREAD, sb. The wood sorrel. Oxalis acetosella. 
CUCKOO'S BREAD AND CHEESE, sb. The seed of the mallow. 
CUCKOO-CORN, sb. Corn sown too late in the spring. 

CULCH [kulch] sb. (i.) Rags ; bits of thread ; shoddy. 

(ii.) Any and every kind of rubbish, e.g., broken 
tiles, slates, and stones. (See also, Pelf.} 

" Much may be done in the way of culture, by placing 
the oysters in favourable breeding beds, strewn with 
tiles, slates, old oyster shells, or other suitable culch 
for the spat to adhere to." Life of Frank Buckland. 

CULL [kul] (i) vb. To pick ; choose ; select. 

4o Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

CULL [kul] (2) sb. The culls of a flock are the worst; 
picked out to be parted with. 

CULVER KEY [kulvurkee] sb. The cowslip. Primula 

CUMBERSOME [kumtrursum] adj. Awkward; inconvenient. 

" I reckon you'll find that gurt coat mighty cumber- 

CURRANTBERRIES [kurr'unt'berr'iz] sb. pi. Currants. 

CURS [kurs] adj. Cross ; shrewish ; surly. 

CYPRESS, CYPRUS [sei-prus] sb. A material like crape. 


DABBERRIES [dab-eriz] sb. pi. Gooseberries. 

DAFFY [daf-i] sb. A large number or quantity, as "a 
rare daffy of people/' 

DAG [dag] (i) vb. To remove the dags or clots of wool, 
dirt, &c., from between the hind legs of sheep. (See 
also Clat^) 

DAG [dag] (2) sb. A lock of wool that hangs at the tail of 
a sheep and draggles in the dirt. 

DAGG, sb. A large pistol. 

Boteler Inventory r , 1600. "It. in Jonathan Boteler's 
chamb r : fower chestes w th certain furniture for the 
warrs, viz., two corsletts, one Jack, two muskets 
fur[nished], one horseman's piec fur[nished] one case 
of daggs y two caliu rs w th swords and daggers, prized 
at iiij 11 ." Memorials of E as try y p. 225. 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 41 

DAG-WOOL, sb. Refuse wool ; cut off in trimming the 

DANG [dang] inter j. A substitution for " damn." 

" Dang your young boanes, doant ye give me no 
more o' your sarce." 

DAWTHER [dau-dhur], or DODDER [dodh-ur] (i) vb. To 
tremble or shake ; to move in an infirm manner. 

" He be gettin' in years now, and caant do s'much 
as he did, but he manages jus' to dawther about the 
shop a little otherwhile." 

DAWTHER-[dau-dhur], or DODDER-[dod-ur] GRASS (2) sb. 
A long shaking grass, elsewhere called Quaker, or 
quaking, grass. Briza media. 

DAWTHERY [dau-dhur'i] adj. Shaky ; tottery ; trembling ; 
feeble. Used commonly of old people " He begins 
to get very dawthery." 

DEAD-ALIVE [ded-ulerv] adj. Dull; stupid. 
" It's a dead-alive place." 

DEAL [deel] (i) sb. A part ; portion. Anglo Saxon dcel, 
from dcelan, to divide ; hence our expression, to deal 
cards, i.e., giving a fair portion to each ; and dole, a 
gift divided or distributed. 

Leviticus xiv. 10. "And on the eighth day he shall 
take two he lambs without blemish, and one ewe lamb 
of the first year without blemish, and two tenth deals 
of fine flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, and 
one log of oil." 

DEAL [dee'l] (2) sb. The nipple of a sow, bitch, fox or rat. 

DEATH [deth] adj. Deaf. 

" It's a gurt denial to be so werry death." 

" De ooman was so plaguey death 
She cou'den make 'ar hear." 

Dick and Sal, st. 59. 

DEATHNESS [deth-nes] sb. Deafness. 

42 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

DEEK [dee-k] sb. A dyke, or ditch. 

The i in Kent and Sussex is often pronounced as i 
in French. 

DEEKERS [dee-kurz] sb. pi. Men who dig ditches (deeks] 
and keep them in order. 

DENCHER-POUT [dench-ur-pout], DENSHER-POUT [den-- 
shur-pout] sb. A pout, or pile of weeds, stubble, or 
rubbish, made in the fields for burning, a cooch-fire, as 
it is elsewhere called. 

DENE [dee-n], DENNE [den], DEN [den] sb. A wooded valley, 
affording pasturage ; also a measure of land ; as in 
Somner, Antiquities of Canterbury, p. 27, ed. 1703, where 
we read : " The Manor of Lenham, consisting of 20 
ploughlands and 13 denes." This word den is a very 
common one as a place-name, thus there are several 
Denne Courts in East Kent ; and in the Weald 
especially, den is the termination of the name of 
many parishes, as well as of places in those parishes, 
thus we have Bidden<3^^, Benemfe;?, Betherstfk/z, 
, Tentenfe?z, Ibornden, &c. 

DENIAL [denei*ul] sb. A detriment; drawback; hindrance; 

" It's a denial to a farm to lie so far off the road." 

DESTINY [dest-ini] sb. Destination. 

" When we have rounded the shaw, we can keep the 
boat straight for her destiny." 

DEVIL-IN-THE-BUSH, sb. The flower otherwise called Love- 
in-a-mist. Nigella damascena. 

DEVIL'S THREAD, sb. A weed which grows out in the fields, 
among the clover; it comes in the second cut, but does 
not come in the first. Otherwise called Hellweed. 
Cuscuta epithymum. 

DEWLAPS, sb. pi. Coarse woollen stockings buttoned over 
others, to keep the legs warm and dry. 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 43 

DIBBLE [dib-lj, DIBBER [dib-ur] sb. An agricultural imple- 
ment for making holes in the ground, wherein to set 
plants or seeds. 

DICK [dik] sb. A ditch. (See Deek, above.) 

DICKY-HEDGE-POKER [dik-i-hej-poa-ker] sb. A hedge- 

DICKY [dik-i] adj. Poorly ; out of sorts ; poor ; miserable. 

"When I has the dicky feelins', I wishes I hadn't 
been so neglackful o' Sundays." 

DIDAPPER and DIVEDAPPER. The dab-chick. 

DlDOS [dei'doaz] sb. pi. Capers ; pranks ; tricks. 

"Dreckly ye be backturned, there he be, a-cutting all 
manners o' didos." 

DiN-A-LlTTLE, adv. Within a little ; nearly. 
" I knows din-a-little where I be now." 

DISABIL [dis'ubil] sb. Disorder ; untidy dress. Fr. 

" Dear heart alive ! I never expected for to see you, 
sir ! I'm all in a disabil." 

DISGUISED, adj. Tipsy. 

" I'd raather not say as he was exactly drunk, but he 
seemed as though he was jes' a little bit disguised." 

DISH-MEAT [dish-meet] sb. Spoon meat, i.e., soft food, 
which requires no cutting up and can be eaten with 
a spoon. 

DISHWASHER [dish-wosh-r] sb. The water wagtail. Gen- 
erally called " Peggy Dishwasher." 

DISSIGHT [disei't] sb. That which renders a person or 
place unsightly ; a blemish ; a defect. 

" Them there tumble-down cottages are a great 
dissight to the street." 

Do [doo] vb. To do for anyone is to keep house for him. 

" Now the old lady's dead, Miss Gamble she goos in 
and doos for him." 

44 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

DOATED [doa'tid] adj. Rotten. Generally applied to wood. 
"That thurruck is all out-o'-tilter; the helers are all 
doated." (See also Doited?) 

DOB [dob] vb. To put down. 

" So den I dobffd him down de stuff, 
A plaguey sight to pay." Dick and Sat, st. 82. 

DOBBIN [dob'in] sb. Temper. 

" He lowered his dobbin," i.e., he lost his temper. 

DODDER [dod-ur] vb. (See Dawther, above.) 
DODGER [doj-ur] sb. A night-cap. 

DOG [dau-g or dog] sb. An instrument for getting up hop- 
poles, called in Sussex a pole-puller. 

DOGS [dogz] sb. pi. Two pieces of wood connected by a 
piece of string, and used by thatchers for carrying up 
the straw to its place on the roof, when arranged for 

DOGS' DAISY, sb. The May weed, Anthemis cotula ; so 
called, " 'Cause it blows in the dog-days, ma'am." 

DOG-WHIPPER [dog-wip-ur] sb. The beadle of a church, 
whose duty it was, in former days, to whip the dogs 
out of church. The word frequently occurs in old 
Churchwardens' accounts. 

DOINGS [doo-ingz] sb. pi. Odd jobs. When a person keeps 
a small farm, and works with his team for hire, he is 
said to do doings for people. 

DOITED [doi-tid] adj. Decayed (used of wood). 

" That 'ere old eelm (elm) is reglar doited, and fit for 
nothin' only cord- wood." (See Doated.) 

DOLE [doa'l] (i) sb. A set parcel, or distribution ; an alms ; 
a bale or bundle of nets. 

" 60 awlns make a dole of shot-nets, and 20 awlns 
make a dole of herring-nets." Lewis, p. 24. 

DOLE [doa*l] (2) sb. A boundary stone ; the stump of an 
old tree left standing. 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 45 

DOLES [doa-lz] sb. pi. The short handles which project 
from the bat of a scythe, and by which the mower holds 
it when mowing. The several parts of a scythe are : (i.) 
the scythe proper, or cutting part, of shear steel ; (ii.) 
the trai-ring and trai-wedge by which it is fastened to 
the bat ; (iii.) the bat or long staff, by which it is held 
when sharpening, and which is cut peeked, so that it 
cannot slip ; and (iv.) the doles , as above described. 

DOLEING [doa-ling] sb. Almsgiving. (See Deal.) 
DOLE-STONE [doa-1-stoa-n] sb. A landmark. 

DOLING [doa-ling] sb. A fishing boat with two masts, each 
carrying a sprit-sail. Boys, in his History of Sandwich, 
speaks of them as " ships for the King's use, furnished 
by the Cinque Ports." 

DOLLOP [dol'up] sb. A parcel of tea sewn up in canvas 
for smuggling purposes ; a piece, or portion, of any- 
thing, especially food. 

" Shall I gie ye some ? " " Thankee, not too big a 

DOLLYMOSH [doHmosh] vb. To demolish ; destroy ; en- 
tirely spoil. 

DOLOURS [dol-urz] vb. A word expressive of the moaning 
of the wind, when blowing up for rain. 

DOLPHIN [dol-fin] sb. A kind of fly (aphis] which comes 
as a blight upon roses, honeysuckles, cinerarias, &c. ; 
also upon beans. It is sometimes black, as on beans 
and honeysuckles ; and sometimes green, as on roses 
and cinerarias. 

DOODLE-SACK [doo-dl-sak] sb. A bagpipe. 

DORICK [doa-rik] vb. A frolic ; lark ; spree ; a trick. 
" Now then, none o' your doricks." 

Doss [dos] vb. To sit down rudely. 

DOSSET [dos-it] sb. A very small quantity of any liquid. 

46 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

DOUGH [doa] sb. A thick clay soil. 

DOVER-HOUSE [doa-vur-hous] sb. A necessary house. 

DOWAL [dou-ul], DOWL [dou-1] sb. A boundary post. (See 
also Dole-stone, above.) 

1630. " Layd out for seauen dowlstones . . . xviij d . 
For .... to carrye these dowl stones from place to 
place, ij s ." MS. Accounts, St. Johrts Hospital, Canterbury. 

DOWELS [dou*lz] sb. pi. Low marshes. 

DOWN [doun] sb. A piece of high open ground, not 
peculiar to Kent, but perhaps more used here than 
elsewhere. Thus we have Up-down in Eastry ; Harts- 
down and North-down in Thanet ; Leys-down in 
Sheppey ; Barham Downs, &c. The open sea off Deal 
is termed the Downs. 

DOWNWARD [dou*nwur'd] adv. The wind is said to be 
downward when it is in the south. 

DRAB [drab] vb. To drub ; to flog ; to beat. 

DRAGGLETAIL [drag-ltail] sb. A slut, or dirty, untidy, 
and slovenly woman. 

DRAGON'S TONGUE [drag-unz tung] sb. Iris fatidissima. 

DRAUGHT [dr'aa-ft] sb. The bar, billet, or spread-bat, to 
which the traces of all the horses are fixed when four 
are being used at plough. 

DRAWHOOK [drau*uok] sb. An implement for cleaning 
out dykes, and freeing them of weeds, consisting of a 
three-tined fork, bent round so as to form a hook, and 
fitted to a long handle. E. Kent. 

1627 " For mending on of the drawe hoockes" 

MS. Accounts, St. John's Hospital, Canterbury. 

DRAW- WELL [drau-wel] sb. A hole or well sunk for the 
purpose of obtaining chalk. 

DRAY [drai] (i) sb. A squirrel's nest. 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 47 

DRAY [drai] (2) sb. A word usually applied to places 
where there is a narrow passage through the slime 
and mud. 

DREAN [dree*un] (i) sb. A drain. 

DREAN [dree-un] (2) vb. To drip. 

" He was just dredning wet when he came in." 

DRECKLY-MINUTE [drek-li-min-it] adv. Immediately ; at 
once ; without delay ; contracted from " directly this 

DREDGE [drej] sb. A bush-harrow. To drag a bundle of 
bushes over a field like a harrow. 

DRILL [dril] vb. To waste away by degrees. 

DRIV [driv] vb. To drive. 

" I want ye driv some cattle ! " " Very sorry, but I'm 
that druv up I caan't do't ! " 

DRIZZLE [driz-1] vb. To bowl a ball close to the ground. 
DROITS [droit's]^.//. Rights; dues; customary payments. 

DROKE [droa*k] sb. A filmy weed very common in standing 

DROPHANDKERCHIEF [drop-angk-urchif] sb. The game 
elsewhere called "kiss-in-the-ring." 

DROP-ROD, sb. " To go drop-rod" is an expression used of 
carrying hay or corn to the stack, when there are two 
wagons and only one team of horses ; the load is 
then left at the stack, and the horses taken out of the 
rods or shafts, and sent to bring the other wagon from 
the field. 

DROSE [droa-z] vb. To gutter. Spoken of a candle flaring 
away, and causing the wax to run down the sides. 
Also spelt, Drosley. 

"The candlestick is all drosed" i.e., covered with 

DROASINGS [droa-zingz] sb. pi. Dregs of tallow. 

48 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

DROVE WAY [droa-v wai] sb. A road for driving cattle to 
and from the marshes, &c., wherein they pasture. 

DRUV [druv] vb. Driven. 
" We wunt be druv." 

DRYTH [drei-th] sb. Drought ; thirst. 

"I call cold tea very purty stuff to squench your 

DUFF [duf] sb. A dark coloured clay. 

DULL [dul] vb. To make blunt. 

" As for fish-skins 'tis a terr'ble thing to dull your 
knife." Folkestone. 

DUMBLEDORE [dumb'ldoar] sb. A bumble bee; an imitative 
word allied to boom, to hum. 

DUN-CROW [dun-kroa] sb. The hooded or Royston crow, 
which is found in great numbers in North Kent during 
the winter. Corvus comix. 

DUNES [deu-nz] sb. pi. Sand hills and hillocks, near the 
margin of the sea. At Sandwich, thieves were anciently 
buried alive in these dunes, or sand-hills. Boys, in 
his History of Sandwich, pp. 464-465, gives us the 
" Customal of Sandwich/' from which it appears that 
" .... in an appeal of theft or robbery if the person 
be found with the goods upon him, it behoves him to 
shew, on a day appointed, how he came by them, and, 
upon failure, he shall not be able to acquit himself. 
.... If the person, however, upon whom the goods 
are, avows that they are his own, and that he is not 
guilty of the appeal, he may acquit himself by 36 good 
men and true .... and save himself and the goods. 
When the names of the 36 compurgators are delivered 
to the Bailiff in writing they are to be distinctly called 
over . . . and, if any one of them shall be absent, or 
will not answer, the appellee must suffer death. But 
if they all separately answer to their names, the 
Bailiff, on the part of the King, then puts aside 12 of 
the number, and the Mayor and Jurats 1 2 more, thereby 
agreeing together in fixing of the 12 of the 36 to swear 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 49 

with the Appellee that he is not guilty of the matters 
laid to his charge. . . . The Accused is first sworn 
that he is not guilty, kissing the book, and then the 
others come up as they are called, and separately 
swear that the oath which the Appellee has taken is 
good and true, . . . and that he is not guilty of what 
is alleged against him, kissing the book, ... by 
which the Appellee is acquitted and the Appellant 
becomes liable to an attachment, and his goods are at 
the disposal of the King. If, however, one of the 12 
withdraws his hand from the book and will not swear, 
the Appellee must be executed ; and all who are 
condemned in such cases are to be buried alive, in a 
place set apart for the purpose, at Sandown [near 
Deal] called ' The Thief Downs/ which ground is the 
property of the Corporation." 

DUNNAMANY [dun'umeni] adj. phr. I don't know how 

" 'Tis no use what ye say to him, I've told him an't 
a dunnamany times." 

DUNNAMUCH [dun-umuch] adj. phr. I don't know how 

DUNTY [dunt'i] adj. Stupid ; confused. It also sometimes 
means stunted ; dwarfish. 

DURGAN- WHEAT [durg-un-weet] sb. Bearded wheat. 

DWARFS-MONEY, sb. Ancient coins. So called in some 
places on the coast. 

DWINDLE, sb. A poor sickly child. 

"Ah! he's a terr'ble poor little dwindle, I doant 
think he wun't never come to much." 

DYKERS [dei-kurz] sb. pi. Men who make and clean out 
dykes and ditches. (See also Deekers above.) 

1536. " Paid to a man for helping the dykers" 

MS. Accoimts, St. Johris Hospital, Canterbury. 

DYSTER [dei-str] sb. The pole of an ox-plough. (See Neb.} 

50 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 


EAR [ee-r] vb. To plough. 

" Eryng of land three times." Old Parish Book of 
Wye, 28 Henry VIII. 

" Caesar, I bring thee word : 
Menocrates and Menas, famous pirates, 
Make the sea serve them, which they ear and wound 
With keels of every kind . . . ." 

Anthony and Cleopatra, act. i. sc. 4. 

EARING [eerr'ing] sb. Ploughing, i.e., the time of ploughing. 

..." And yet there are five years in the which there 
shall be neither earing nor harvest/' Gen. xlv. 6. 

EARTH [urth] vb. To cover up with earth. 
" I've earthed up my potatoes." 

EAXE [ee-uks] sb. An ax, or axle. 
ECKER [ek-ur] vb. To stammer ; stutter. 

ECHE [ee-ch] (i) sb. An eke, or addition ; as, an additional 
piece to a bell rope, to eke it out and make it longer. 
So we have cfo-ILnd near Ash-next-Sandwich. 

1525. "For ij ropes for eches for the bell ropys, ij d ." 

Accounts, St. Dunstan's, Canterbury. 
(2) vb. To eke out ; to augment. 

EELM [ee-lm] sb. Elm. 

EEL-SHEER [ee-lsheer] sb. A three - pronged spear for 
catching eels. 

E'EN A'MOST [ee-numoa-st] adv. Almost. Generally used 
with some emphasis. 

EEND [ee-nd] sb. A term in ploughing ; the end of a 
plough-furrow. Two furrows make one eend. Always 
so pronounced. 

" I ain't only got two or three eends to-day, to finish 
the field." 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 5 1 

EFFET [ef-it] sb. An eft ; a newt. Anglo-Saxon, efete. 
ELDERN [eld-urn] sb. The elder tree, and its wood. 

ELEVENSES [elevnziz] sb. A drink or snack of refresh- 
ment at eleven o'clock in the forenoon. Called in 
Essex, Beevors ; and in Sussex, Elevener. 

ELLINGE [el-inj] adj. Solitary ; lonely ; far from neigh- 
bours ; ghostly. 

1470. " Nowe the crowe calleth reyne with an 
eleynge voice." Bartholomaus de proprietatibns rerum. 

ELVIN [el-vin] sb. An elm. Still used, though rarely. 
EMMET [enrut] sb. An ant. 

EMMET-CASTES [enrut kaa-stiz]. Ant hills. (See Cast.} 
END [end] sb. (See Eend above.) 

ENOW [enou-] sb. Enough. 
" Have ye got enow ? " 

ENTETIG [ent-itig] vb. To introduce. 
EPS [eps] sb. The asp tree. 

ERNFUL [urn-ful] adj. and adv. Lamentable. "Ernful 
bad" lamentably bad; "ernful tunes," sorrowful tunes. 

ERSH [ursh] sb. The stubble after the corn has been cut. 
Ess [es] sb. pi. A large worm. 

EVERYTHING SOMETHING [evrithing sup-m] sb. Some- 
thing of everything ; all sorts of things. 

" She called me everything something" i.e., she called 
me every name she could think of. 

EYESORE [ei-soar] sb. A disfigurement; &dissight; some- 
thing which offends the eye, and spoils the appearance 
of a thing ; a detriment. 

" A sickly wife is a great eyesore to a man." 

52 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

EYLEBOURNE [aHboarn] sb. An intermittent spring. 

" There is a famous eylebourn which rises in this 
parish [Petham] and sometimes runs but a little way 
before it falls into the ground." Harris's History of 
Kent, p. 240. (See Nailbourn.) 


FACK [fak] sb. The first stomach of a ruminating animal, 
from which the herbage is resumed into the mouth. 

FADER [faa-dur] sb. Father. 

Extract from the will of Sir John Spyoer, Vicar of 
Monkton, A.D. 1450. . . . "The same 10 marc shall be 
for a priest's salary; one whole yere to pray for my 
soule, my fadyr soule, my modyr soul, and all crystyn 
soules." Lewis, p. 1 2. This pronunciation still prevails. 

FAGS [fagz], FAGGS, inter j\ adv. A cant word of affirmation ; 
in good faith ; indeed ; truly. 

Shakespeare has: " F fecks" = in faith, in Winter's 
Tale, act i. sc. 2, where we see the word in process of 

FAIRISIES [farr'iseez] sb. pi. Fairies. This reduplicated 
plural of fairy fairyses gives rise to endless mistakes 
between the fairies of the story-books and the Pharisees 
of the Bible. 

FAIRY-SPARKS [fai-r'i-sparks] sb. pi. Phosphoric light, 
sometimes seen on clothes at night, and in former 
times attributed to the fairies. Otherwise called 

FAKEMENT [farkmu'nt] sb. Pain ; uneasiness ; distress. 

"Walking does give me fakement to-day." Sitting- 

FALL [faul] (i) vb. To fell ; to cut down. 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 53 

FALL [faul] (2) sb. A portion of growing underwood, 
ready to fell or cut. 

FANTEEG [fanteeg-] sb. A state of worry ; excitement ; 

" We couldn't help laughing at the old lady, she put 
herself in such a, fanteeg" 

FANTOD [fan'tud] adj. Fidgetty ; restless ; uneasy. 

FARDLE [faa-dl] sb. A bundle ; a little pack. 

Amongst the rates or dues of Margate Pier and 
Harbour, Lewis gives "For every far die .... i d ." 
Italian, fardello. 

FAT [fat] sb. A large open tub ; a vat ; a ton or tun. 

"And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats 
shall overflow with wine and oil." Joel ii. 24. 

FATTEN [fat-un] sb. A weed. 

FAVOUR [fai-vur] vb. To resemble ; have a likeness to 
another person. 

"You favour your father," i.e., you have a strong 
likeness to your father. (See also Bly.} 

" Joseph was a goodly person and 'well-favoured." 
Genesis xxxix. 6. 

FAZEN [fai-zn] adj. The fazen eel is a large brown eel, 
and is so called at Sandwich in contradistinction to 
the silver eel. 

FEAR [feer] vb. To frighten. 

" To see his face the lion walk'd along 
Behind some hedge, because he would not fear him." 

Shakespeare Venus and Adonis. 

FEASE [feez] (\]vb. To fret; worry. (See also Frape.} 

FEASE [feez] (2) sb. A feasy, fretting, whining child. 
Formed from adj. feasy. 

FEASY [fee-zi] adj. Whining; peevish; troublesome. 
"He's a feasy child." (See also Tattery^ 

54 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

FEETENS [fit*nz] sb. pi. Foot-marks ; foot-prints ; hoof- 

" The rain do lodge so in the horses' feetens." 

FELD [feld] sb. A field. Sittingbourne. In other parts 
of Kent it is usually fill. 

" Which is the way to Sittingbourne ? " " Cater 
across that ere feld of wuts (oats)." 

FELLET [fel-it] sb. A portion of a wood divided up for 
felling; a portion of felled wood. 

FELLOWLY [fel-oali] adj. Familiar; free. 
FENNY [fen*i] adj. Dirty ; mouldy as cheese. 
FET [fet] vb. To fetch. 

FEW [feu] adj. This word is used as a substantive in such 
phrases as "a goody^ze;," "a goodish/ew," which mean 
"pretty many," or "a nice little lot." 

FICKLE [fik-1] vb. To fickle a person in the head with this 
or that, is to put it into his head ; in a rather bad sense. 

FID [fid] sb. A portion of straw pulled out and arranged 
for thatching. Four or fiveyfo& are about as much as 
a thatch er will carry up in his dogs. 

FIDDLER [fid-lur] sb. The angel, or shark-ray. 

" We calls these fiddlers because they're like a fiddle." 
The following couplet is current in West Kent : 

" Never a fisherman need there be, 
If fishes could hear as well as see." 

FILD [fild] sb. A field. (See also Feld.} 
FILL [fil] sb. A field. 

FlLL-NOR-FALL [fil-nor-faul]. An expression frequently 
used as to any person or anything lost. 

" My old dog went off last Monday, and I can't hear 
neither fill-nor-fall of him." 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 55 

FINGER-COLD [fin-gur koal-d] adj. Cold to the fingers ; 
spoken of the weather, when the cold may not be 
very intense, and yet enough to make the fingers 
tingle. (See also Hand-cold?) 

" We shall very soon have the winter 'pon us, 'twas 
downright finger-cold first thing this marning." 

FINKLE [fin'kl] sb. Wild fennel. Faniculum vulgare. 

FIRE-FORK, sb. A shovel for the fire, made in the form of 
a three-pronged fork, as broad as a shovel, and fitted 
with a handle made of bamboo or other wood. 

" Item in the kitchen one payer of tongs, 

one fire-forke of iron, &c." 

Boteler Inventory, Memorials of Eastry, p. 227. 

FLABERGASTED [flab-urgastid] adj. or pp. Astonished and 
rather frightened. 

FLAM vb. To deceive or cheat ; sb. a falsehood. 

FLAW [flau] vb. To flay ; to strip the bark off timber. 

"I told him to goo down into de woodflazvm', and 
he looked as tho' he was downright flabbergasted." 

FLAZZ, adj. Newly fledged. 

FLECK [flek] sb. Hares ; rabbits ; ground-game. 

" They killed over two hundred pheasants, but not 
but terr'ble little fleck." 

FLEED [fleed] sb. The inside fat of a pig, from which lard 

is made. 
FLEED-CAKES [fleed-kaiks] sb. pi. Cakes made with the 

fresh fleed of a pig. 

FLEEKY [flee-ki] adj. Flaky ; in flakes. 

FLEET [fleet], FLETE (i) sb. A creek ; a bay or inlet ; 
a channel for the passage of boats and vessels, hence 
the name of North-fleet. Anglo-Saxon, fleot. 

" A certain Abbot .... made there a certain flete 
in his own proper soil, through which little boats used 
to come to the aforesaid town [of Mynster]. Lewis 
p. 78. 

56 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

The word is still used about Sittingbourne, and is 
applied to sheets of salt and brackish water in the 
marshes adjoining the Medway and the Swale. Most 
of them have no communication with the tidal water, 
except through water-gates, but they generally repre- 
sent the channels of streams which have been partly 
diverted by draining operations. 

FLEET [fleet] (2) vb. To float. The word is much used 
by North Kent bargemen, and occasionally by " in- 

" The barge fleeted about four o'clock to-day." 

FLEET [fleet] (3) vb. To skim any liquor, especially milk. 

FLEET [fleet] (4) sb. Every Folkestone herring-boat 
carries a fleet of nets, and sixty nets make a fleet. 

FLEETING-DISH, si. A shallow dish for cream. (See 
Fleet, 3.) 

FLEET MILK, sb. Skimmed milk. (See also Flit milk.) 

FLICK [flik] sb. The hair of a cat, or the fur of a rabbit. 
(See Fleck above.) 

FLICKING-TOOTH-COMB [flik-in-tooth-koam] sb. A comb 
for a horse's mane. 

FLIG, sb. The strands of grass. 
FLINDER [flind-ur] sb. A butterfly. 
FLINDER-MOUSE [flind-ur-mous] sb. A bat. 

FLINTER-MOUSE [flint-ur-mous] sb. A bat. This form is 
intermediate between flinder -mouse anft flitter-mouse. 
The plural form is flinter-mees. 

FLIT-MILK [flit-milk] sb. Skim milk; the milk after the 
cream has been taken off it. (See Fleet milk above.) 

FLITTERMOUSE [flit*ur-mous] sb. (See Flinter-mouse above.) 

FLOAT [float] sb. A wooden frame, sloping outward, 
attached to the sides, head, or back, of a cart, enabling 
it to carry a larger load than would otherwise be 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 57 

FLOWER [flou-r] sb. The floor (always pronounced thus). 

FLUE [floo] adj. Delicate ; weak ; sickly. In East Kent 
it is more commonly applied to persons than to 

FLUFF [fluff] sb. Anger ; choler. 

" Dat raised my fluff" Dick and Sal, st. 74. 
FLUMP, sb. A fall causing a loud noise. 

"She came down with a flump on the floor/' 

FOAL'S FOOT, sb. Colt's foot. Fussilago farfara. 
FOGO [foa-goa] sb. A stench. 

FOG [fog] sb. The second crop of grass. (See Aftermeath^ 
From Low Latin, fogagmm, or foragium. 

FOLD-PITCHER [foald-pich-r] sb. An iron implement, other- 
wise called a peeler, for making holes in the ground, 
wherein to put wattles or hop-poles. 

FOLKS [foa-ks] sb. pi. The men-servants. East Kent. 
" Our folks are all out in de fill." 

FOLKESTONE-BEEF [foa-ksun beef] sb. Dried dog-fish. 

" Most of the fishermen's houses in Folkestone 
harbour are adorned with festoons of fish hung out 
to dry ; some of these look like gigantic whiting. 
There was no head, tail, or fins to them, and I could 
not make out their nature without close examination. 
The rough skin on their reverse side told me at once 
that they were a species of dog-fish. I asked what 
they were? * Folkestone -beej ',' was the reply." F. 

FOLKESTONE GIRLS [foa-ksun galz] sb.pL Folkestone girls; 
the name given to heavy rain clouds. Chilham. 

" De Folkston gals looked houghed black ; 

Old Waller'd roar'd about ; 
Says I to Sal ' shall we go back ? ' 
* No, no ! ' says she, ' kip out.' " 

Dick and Sal, st. 23. 

58 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

FOLKESTONE LASSES [foa-ksun las-sez] sb. pi. ") Same as 
FOLKESTONE WASHERWOMEN, sb. pi. j the above - 

FOR [for] prep. Used in adjectival sense, thus, " What 
for horse is he ? " i.e., What kind of horse is he r 
" What/0r day is it?" i.e., What kind of day is it ? 

FORCED [foa-st] vb. Obliged ; compelled. 

" He's kep' going until last Saddaday he was forced 
to give up." 

FORE-ACRE [foru'-kur] sb. A headland ; the land at the 
ends of the field where the furrows cross. 

FORECAST [foa-rkaast] sb. Forethought. 

FORE-DOOR [foa*r-doar] sb. The front door. 
"He come to the fore-door." 

FOREIGNER [furinur] sb. A stanger who comes out of 
the sheeres, and is not a Kentish man. 

FOREHORSE [foa-r-hors] sb. The front horse in a team of 
four. East Kent. 

FORE-LAY [foa-r-lai] vb. To way-lay. 

" I slipped across the field and fore-laid him." 

FORERIGHT [foa*rr'eit] adj. or adv. Direct ; right in front ; 
straight forward. " It (i.e., the river Rother) had here- 
tofore a direct and foreright continued current and 
passage as to Appledore, so from thence to Romney." 
Somner, Ports and Forts, p. 50. 

FORICAL [forikl] sb. A headland in ploughing. (See 

FORSTAL [forstul], FORESTAL [foaTStul], FOSTAL [fost'ul] 

sb. A farm-yard before a house ; a paddock near a 
farm house ; the house and home-building of a farm ; 
a small opening in a street or lane, not large enough 
to be called a common. As a local name, forestalls 
seem to have abounded in Kent ; as for instance, 
Broken Forestall, near Buckley; Clare's Forestall, 
near Throwley, and several others. 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 59 

Four [foirt] vb. Fought ; being p.t. and pret., of to fight. 

" Two joskins font one day in a chalk pet, until the 
blood ran all over their gaberdines." 

FOWER [foirur] num. adj. Four. So pronounced to this 
day in East Kent, and constantly so spelled in old 

FOY [foi] sb. A treat given by a person on going abroad 
or returning home. 

There is a tavern at Ramsgate called the Foy Boat. 

" I took him home to number 2, the house beside ' The Foy ; ' 
I bade him wipe his dirty shoes, that little vulgar boy." 

Ingoldsby Legends, Misadventures at Margate. 

FOYING [foi-ing] part. Victualling ships; helping them 
in distress, and acting generally as agents for them. 

" They who live by the seaside are generally fisher- 
men, or those who go voyages to foreign parts, or such 
as depend upon what they call foying." Lewis, p. 32. 

FRAIL [frail] (i) sb. A small basket; a flail. The flail 
is rapidly disappearing and going out of use before the 
modern steam threshing machine. It consists of the 
following parts : (i.) the hand-staff or part grasped 
by the thresher's hands ; (ii.) the hand-staff-cap (made 
of wood), which secured the thong to the hand-staff; 
(iii.) the middle-bun or flexible leathern thong, which 
served as the connecting link between hand-staff and 
swingel ; (iv.) the swingel-cap made of leather, which 
secured the middle-bun to the swingel; (v.) the swingel 
[swinj-1] itself, which swung free and struck the corn. 
There is a proverbial saying, which alludes to the hard 
work of threshing: 

" Two sticks, a leather and thong, 
Will tire a man be he ever so strong." 

FRAIL [frail] (2) adj. Peevish ; hasty. 

FRAPE [fraip] (i) vb. To worry; fidget; fuss; scold. 
" Don't /rape about it." 

60 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

FRAPE [fraip] (2) sb. A woman of an anxious tempera- 
ment, who grows thin with care and worry. 

" Oh ! she's a regular /rape." 

FRENCH MAY [french mai] sb. The lilac, whether white 
or purple. Syringa vulgar is. 

FRESH CHEESE [fresh cheez] sb. Curds and whey. 
FRIGHT- WOODS, sb. pi. (See Frith.) 
FRIMSY [frimz-i] adj. Slight ; thin ; soft. 

FRITH, sb. A hedge or coppice. A thin, scrubby wood, 
with little or no timber, and consisting mainly of 
inferior growths such as are found on poor soils, 
intermixed with heath, &c. Though some of the 
old woods bearing this name may now, by modern 
treatment, have been made much thicker and more 
valuable, they are also still called, as of old, fright- 
woods, as the Fright Woods, near Bedgebury. 

In the MS. Accounts of St. John's Hospital, Canter- 
bury, we find frith used for a quick-set hedge " To 
enclose the vij acres wt. a quyk fryth before the Fest 
of the Purification." 

FRORE [froa-r] //. Frozen. 

" . . . . The parching air 
Burns frore and cold performs the effect of fire." 

Milton, Paradise Lost, ii. 595. 
FRUZ [fruz] //. Frozen. 

FURNER [furnvr] sb. A baker. French, fournier. 
FURRICK [furr'ik] vb. Same zsfurrige below. 

FURRIGE [furr'idj] vb. To forage ; to hunt about and 
rummage, and put everything into disorder whilst 
looking for something. 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 61 


GABERDINE [gab-urdin] sb. A coarse loose frock ; a 
smock frock, sometimes called a cow-gown, formerly 
worn by labouring men in many counties, now fast 

" You call me misbeliever, cut-throat dog, 
And spit upon my Jewish gaberdine" 

Merchant of Venice, act i. sc. 3. 

" Next he disrob'd his gaberdine, 
And with it did himself resign." 

Hudibras, pt. I. canto iii. 
GADS [gadz] Rushes growing in marshy ground. 

GAFFER [gaf-ur] sb. A master. 
" Here comes our gaffer ! " 

GALLIGASKINS, sb. pi. Trowsers. 

GALLON [gal-un] sb. Used as a dry measure for corn, 
flour, bread, potatoes. In Kent these dry goods are 
always sold by the gallon. 

" I'd far rather pay a shilling for a gallon of bread 
than have it so very cheap." 

GALLS [gaulz] sb. pi. Jelly fish. 
GALORE [guloa-r] sb. Plenty. 

GALEY [garli] adj. Boisterous ; stormy. " The wind is 
galey," i.e., blows in gales, by fits and intervals. 

GAMBREL [gamb-ril] or GAMBLE STICK [gamb-1-stik] sb. A 
stick used to spread open and hang up a pig or other 
slaughtered animal. 

GAMMY [ganvi] adj. Sticky ; dirty. 

GANCE [gaans or gans] adj. Thin; slender; gaunt. 

"Them sheep are doing middlin', but there's here 
and there a one looks rather gance." 

62 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

GANGWAY [gang-wai] sb. A thoroughfare ; a passage ; 
an entry. Properly a sea term. 

GARBAGE [gaa'bij] sb. A sheaf of corn, Latin garba ; a 
cock of hay ; a fagot of wood, or any other bundle of 
the product or fruits of the earth. 

GARRET [garr'it] vb. To drive small wedges of flint into 
the joints of a flint wall. 

GARRETED, adj. The phrase, " not rightly garretedj' means, 
something wrong in " the top storey." Spoken of a weak 
and silly person, whose brain is not well furnished. 

GASKIN [gas'kin] sb. Prunus avium, a half- wild variety of 
the damson, common in hedgerows, and occasionally 
gathered to send to London, with the common kinds 
of black cherry, for the manufacture of "port wine." 

GATE [gait] sb. A way from the cliffs down to the sea : 

" Through these chalky cliffs the inhabitants whose 
farms adjoin to them, have cut several gates or ways 
into the sea, for the conveniency either of fishing, carry- 
ing the sea ooze on their land, &c. But these gates or 
passages, they have been forced to fill up in time of 
war, to prevent their being made use of by the enemy 
to surprise them, and plunder the country." Lewis , 
Tenet p. 10. 

GATTERIDGE TREE [gat-ur'ij tree] sb. Prickwood. Euony- 
mus Europeans. 

GAU [gau], GEU [geu], or Goo [goo], interj. An exclam- 
ation, in constant use, expressive of doubt ; surprise ; 

GAUSE [gaus] adj. Thin ; slender. 

GAVELKIND [gavl-kend] sb. An ancient tenure in Kent, 
by which the lands of a father were divided among all 
his sons ; or the lands of a brother, dying without 
issue, among all the surviving brothers ; a custom by 
which the female descendants were utterly excluded, 
and bastards inherited with legitimate children. 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 63 

GAY [gai] adj. Lively ; hearty ; in good health. 
" I don't feel very gay this morning." 

GAYZELS [gai-zlz] sb. pi. Black currants, Ribes nigrum ; 
wild plums. Prunis communis. 

GEAT [ge-ut] sb. Gate. 

GEE [jee] sb. A lodging ; roost. (Same as Chee.} 

GEE [jee] inter j. Go to the off side ; command to a horse. 
West Kent. 

GENTAIL [j en -tail] sb. An ass. 

GENTLEMAN, sb. A person who from age or any other 
cause is incapacitated from work. 

"He's a gentleman now, but he just manages to 
doddle about his garden with a weedin'-spud." 

GIBLETS [jib -lets] sb. pi. Rags ; tatters. 

GIFTS [gifts] sb. pi. White specks which appear on the 
finger nails and are supposed to indicate something 
coming, thus 

A gift on the thumb indicates a present. 

,, on the fore-finger indicates a friend or lover. 
on the middle finger indicates a foe. 
on the fourth finger indicates a visit to pay. 
on the little finger indicates a journey to go. 

W. F. S. 

GIG [gig] sb. A billet, or spread bat, used to keep the 
traces of plough horses apart. 

GILL [gill] sb. A little, narrow, wooded valley with a 
stream of water running through it ; a rivulet ; a 

GIMMER [ginrur] sb. A mistress. 

" My gimmer always wore those blue and white 
checked aprons" (1817). 

GIN [gin not}\\\\ vb. Given. 

" I cou'd a gin de man a smack." Dick and Sal^ st. 86. 

64 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

GIVE [giv] vb. To give way; to yield ; to thaw. " It gives 
now," i.e., it is thawing. So, too, the phrase, " it's all 
on the give" means, that a thaw has set in. 

GIVE OVER [give oa'vur] vb. To leave off; to cease; to 

" Give over ! will ye ! I wun't have no more an't." 

GIVEY [givi] adj. The ground is said to be givey when the 
frost breaks up and the roads become soft and rotten. 

GLEAN, sb. A handful of corn tied together by a gleaner. 

GLIMIGRIM, sb. Punch. 

"Tom Julmot, a rapscallion souldier, and Mary 
Leekin, married by license, January 4th, 1748-9. 
Caspian bowls of well acidulated gltmigrim." 

Extract from Parish Register of Sea Salter, near Whitstable. 

GLINCE [glins], GLINCEY [glins*i] adj. Slippery. 
" The ice is terr'ble glincey." 

Go [goa] vb. To get about and do one's work. 

" He's troubled to go" i.e., he has great difficulty in 
getting about and doing his work. " He's gone in 
great misery for some time," i.e., he has gone about 
his work in great pain and suffering. 

GOD'S GOOD [Godz good] sb. Yeast ; barm. 

It was a pious custom in former days to invoke a 
benediction, by making the sign of the cross over the 

GOFF [gof] sb. The commonest kind of apple. 

GOING [goa-in] sb. The departure. 

" I didn't see the going of him." 

GOING TO'T [goa'in tuot] i.e., going to do it; as "do this or 
that ;" the answer is " I am going to't." The frequency 
with which it is used in some parts of Kent renders the 
phrase a striking one. 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 65 

GOL [gol], GULL, sb. A young gosling. (See Willow-gull.} 

GOLDING [goa-lding] sb. A lady-bird, so called from the 
golden hue of its back. (See 

GOLLOP [gol-up] vb. To swallow greedily ; to gulp. 
" You go Hoped that down as if you liked it." 

GOODING [guod-ing] sb. The custom of going about asking 
for gifts on St. Thomas' Day, December 21. Still kept 
up in many parts of Kent. 

GOODMAN, sb. An old title of address to the master of a 

1671. "To Goodman Davis in his sicknes ..... 
O O 6." Overseers' Accounts., Holy Cross , Canterbury. 

"... If the goodman of the house had known in 
what watch the thief would come, he would have 
watched." St. Matthew xxiv. 43. 

GOODY [guod-i] sb. The title of an elderly widow, con- 
tracted from goodwife. 

" Old Goody Knowler lives agin de stile." 

GO-TO [goa too] vb. To set. 
" The sun goes to!' 

GOULE [goul] sb. Sweet willow. Myrica gale. 

GOYSTER [goi'stur] vb. To laugh noisily and in a vulgar 
manner. A goystering wench is a Tom-boy. 

GRABBY [grab'i] adj. Grimy ; filthy. 
GRAN NIGH [gran neij adv. Very nearly. 
GRANABLE [granai-bl] adv. Very. 

" De clover was granable wet, 

So when we crast de medder, 
We both upan de hardle set, 
An den begun concedir." 

Dick and Sat, st. 22. 

GRANADA [gran-aada] sb. A golden pippin. 

66 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

GRANDLY [grand-li] adv. Greatly : as, " I want it grandly." 

GRANDMOTHER'S NIGHT CAP, sb. The flower called monk's 
hood or aconite. Aconitum napellus. 

GRAPE-VINE [graip-vein] sb. A vine which bears grapes. 
In other counties, when they say vine, they mean a 
grape-vine, as a matter of course ; so, when they use 
the word orchard, they mean an apple-orchard; but in 
Kent, it is necessary to use distinguishing terms, 
because we have apple-orchards, and cherry -orchards, 
hop-vines and grape-vines. 

GRATTAN [grafun], GRATTEN [grat-un], GRATTON [grat-un] 
sb. Stubble ; a stubble field, otherwise called ersh, or 
eddish, grotten, podder-grotten. 

GRATTEN (2) vb. To feed on a gratten, or stubble field. 

To turn pigs out grattening, is to turn them out to 
find their own food. 

GRAUM [grau-m] vb. To grime ; dirty ; blacken. 

GREAT [gurt] (i) adv. Very; as "great much," very 
much. Commonly pronounced gurt. 

GREAT [grait] (2) sb. " To work by the great," is to work 
by the piece. 

GREAT CHURCH [grait church] sb. The Cathedral at 
Canterbury is always so called at Eastry. 

" That fil belongs to the Great Church" i.e., is part 
of the possessions of the Dean and Chapter of Canter- 

GREATEN [grai-tn] vb. To enlarge. 

GREEDS [greedz] sb. pi. Straw thrown on to the dung-hill. 

GREEN-BAG, sb. The bag in which the hops are brought 
from the garden to the oast. (See also Poke.) 

GREYBIRD [grai-burd] sb. A thrush. 
GRIDGIRON [grij-eirn] sb. Gridiron, 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 67 

GRINSTONE [grin -stun] sb. A grindstone. 

GRIP [grip] sb. A dry ditch ; but about Sittingbourne it 
is applied to natural channels of a few feet in width, 
in the saltings on the Kentish coasts. 

" I crawled along the grip with my gun in my hand 
until I got within a few rods of 'em." 

GRIPING [grei-pin] vb. The name given in North Kent to 
the operation of groping at arms' length in the soft 
mud of the tidal streams for dabs and flounders. 

GRIST [greist] sb. Anything which has been ground 
meal, flour. 

GRISTING [grei-sting], GRYSTING, sb. The flour which is 
got from the lease-wheat. 

GRIT [grit] vb. To set the teeth on edge ; to grate. 

GRIZZLE [griz-1] vb. To fret ; complain ; grumble. 
" She's such a grizzling woman." 

GROSS [groas] adj. Gruif, deep-sounding. 

GROVETT [groa-vit] sb. A small grove or wood. 

" Just by it is a grovette of oaks, the only one in the 
whole island." Lewis, p. 115. 

GRUBBY [grub-i] adj. Dirty. 

"You are grubby, and no mistake." (See also Grabby.} 

GRUPPER [grup'ur] sb. That part of the harness of a 
cart-horse which is called elsewhere the quoilers ; 
the breeching. East Kent. 

GRUPPER-TREE [grup-ur-tree] sb. That part of a cart 
horse's harness which is made of wood, padded next 
the horse's back, and which carries the redger. East 

GAGEY [gai-ji] adj. Uncertain; showery; spoken of the 

" Well, what d'ye think o' the weather ? will it be 
fine r It looks to me rather gagey" 

68 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

GUESS-COW [ges-kou] sb. A dry or barren cow. 
GUESTING [gest-ing] vb. Gossipping. 

GUESTLING [ges-lin] (i) sb. An ancient water-course at 
Sandwich, in which it was formerly the custom to 
drown prisoners. 

GUESTLING [gest-ling] (2) sb. The ancient court of the 
Cinque Ports, held at Shepway, near Hythe, and other 

" In July, 1688, the Common Council of Faversham 
commissioned their Deputy-Mayor, two Jurats, the 
Town Clerk, and a Commoner * to go to a guestling, 
which was summoned from the ancient town of 
Winchelsea, to be holden at the town and port of New 
Romney, on Tuesday, July 2ist;' and * there to act 
on the town's behalf, as they should find convenient.' 
They were absent at the guestling five days." 

Archceologia Cantiana, xvi. p. 271. 

GUILE-SHARES [gei-l-shairzj sb. pi. Cheating shares ; 
division of spoils ; or shares of " wreckage." 

" Under the pretence of assisting the distressed 
masters [of stranded vessels] and saving theirs and 
the merchant's goods, they convert them to their own 
use by making what they call guile -shares!' Lewis, 

GULLIDGE [guHj] sb. The sides of a barn boarded off from 
the middle ; where the caving is generally stored. 

GUMBLE [gumb'l] vb. To fit very badly, and be too large, 
as clothes. 

GUNNER [gun-ur] sb. A man who makes his living by 
shooting wild fowl, is so called on the north coast of 
Kent and about Sheppey. 

GURT [gurt] adj. Great. 

GUTTER GRUB [gut-ur-grub] sb. One who delights in 
doing dirty work and getting himself into a mess ; a 
low person. 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 69 

GUTTERMUD [gut'urmud] sb. The black mud of the gutter, 
hence any dirt or filth. 

" As black as guttermud." 
GUT- WEED, sb. Sonchus arvensis. 


HAAZES [haa-ziz] sb. pi. Haws. (See also Harvest) Fruit 
of Cratcegus oxyacantha. 

HADN'T OUGHT [had-nt aut] phr. Ought not. (See also 
No ought) 

" He hadn't ought to go swishing along as that, 

HAGGED [hag-id] adj. Thin ; lean ; shrivelled ; haggard. 

"They did look so very old and hagged; " spoken of 
some maiden ladies living in another parish, who had 
not been seen for some time by the speaker. 

HAGISTER [hag'ister] sb. A magpie. 

HAIR [hair] sb. The cloth on the oast above the fires where 
the hops are dried. 

HALF-AMON [haaf-armun] sb. (See Amon.) 

HALF-BAPTIZED. Privately baptized. 

" Can such things be ! " exclaimed the astonished 
Mr. Pickwick. "Lord bless your heart, sir/' said 
Sam, "why, where was you half '-baptised ? that's 
nothin', that a'nt." Pickwick Papers, chapter xiii. 

HALM [haam], HAULM [haum], HELM [helm] sb. Stubble 
gathered after the corn is carried, especially pease and 
beans' straw; applied, also, to the stalks or stems of 
potatoes and other vegetables. 

HALMOT [hal*mut] sb. The hall mote; court leet or manor 
court ; from the Saxon heal-mot, a little council. 

70 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

HAME [haim] sb. Pease straw. (See Halm?) 

HAMPER [hamp*ur] vb. To injure, or throw anything out 
of gear. 

" The door is hampered!' 

HAMPERY [hanrpur'ij adj. Shaky ; crazy ; ricketty ; 
weak ; feeble ; sickly. 

HAND-COLD, adj. Cold enough to chill the hands. (See 
also Finger -cold.} 

"There was a frost down in the bottoms, for I was 
right-down hand-cold as I come up to the great house." 

HANDFAST, adj. Able to hold tight. 

" Old George is middlin' handfast to-day" (said of a 
good catch at cricket). 

HANDFUL, sb. An anxiety ; to have a handful is to have 
as much as a person can do and bear. 

"Mrs. S. says she has a sad handful with her mother." 

HAND-HOLD, sb. A holding for the hands. 

" 'Tis a plaguey queer job to climb up there, there 
an't no hand-hold'' 

HANDSTAFF [hand-staaf] sb. The handle of a flail. 

HANGER [hang'r] sb. A hanging wood on the side of a 
hill. It occurs in the names of several places in 
Kent Bettes^#7/tf/', WestenAafl^ir, &c. 

HANK [hangk], HINK [hingk] sb. A skein of silk or thread. 

So we say a man has a hank on another ; or, he has 
him entangled in a skein or string. 

HAPPY-HO, adj. Apropos. 

" My father was drownded and so was my brother ; 
now that's very happy-ho!" meaning that it was a 
curious coincidence. 

HAPS [haps] (i) or HASP [haasp] sb. A hasp or fastening 
of a gate. P. (See Hapse.} 

1631. "For charnells and hapses for the two chests 
in our hall." MS. Accounts, St. Johris Hospital, Canterbury. 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 7 1 

HAPS [haps] (2) vb. Happens. 

" Now haps you doant know/' 

HAPSE [haps] vb. To fasten with a hasp ; to fasten. In 
the Weald of Kent hapse is used for the verb, and 
hasp for the noun, e.g., "Hapse the gate after you! 5 ' 
"I can't, the hasp is gone." 

HARCELET [haa-slit], HASLET [haz-lit], sb. The heart, 
liver, and lights of a hog. (See Acelot, Arslet, Harslet^] 

HARD-FRUIT, sb. Stone-fruit ; plums, &c. 

HARDHEWER [haa-dheur] sb. A stonemason. 

The word occurs in the articles for building Wye 
Bridge, 1637. 

HARKY [haa-ki] inter j. Hark ! 

HARSLEM [haa*zlum] sb. Asylum. 

"When he got to settin' on de hob and pokin' de 
fire wid's fingers, dey thought 'twas purty nigh time 
dey had him away to de harslem." 

HARSLET [haa-zlet] sb. (See Acelot.) 
HARVES [haa*vz] sb. pi. Haws. (See Haazes.) 

HARVEST [haa*vist] vb. To gather in the corn ; to work 
in the harvest-field, e.g., "Where's Harry?" "Oh! 
he's harvesting 'long with his father." 

HARVESTER [haa*vistur] sb. A stranger who comes into 
the parish to assist in the harvest. 

HASSOCK [has-ok] sb. A large pond. 
HASTY [harsti] adj. Heavy; violent. Often used of rain. 
" It did come down hasty, an' no mistake." 

HATCH [hach] sb. A gate in the roads ; a half -hatch is 
where a horse may pass, but not a cart. 

HATCH-UP [hach up] vb. To prepare for. 

" I think it's hatching up for snow." " She's 
hatching up a cold." 

72 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

HAUL [hau-1] vb. To halloo ; to shout. 

HAULMS AND FIGS [hairmz und figz] sb. pi. Hips and 
haws, the fruit of the hawthorn (Crat&gus oxyacanthd] 
and the dog-rose (Rosa canind). 

HAVE [hav] vb. To take ; lead ; as, " Have the horse to 
the field." 

" Have her forth of the ranges and whoso followeth 
her let him be slain with the sword." 2 Chron. xxiii. 


HAW [hau] sb. A small yard or inclosure. Chaucer has 
it for a churchyard. 

HAWK [hauk] vb. To make a noise when clearing the 
throat of phlegm. An imitative word. 

" He was hawking and spetting for near an hour 
after he first got up." 

HAWMELL, sb. A small close or paddock. 

HAYNET, sb. A long net, often an old fish net, used in cover 
shooting to keep the birds and flick from running out of 
the beat. 

HEAF [heef] sb. The gaff-hook used by fishermen at 

HEAL [heel] vb. To hide ; to cover anything up ; to 

" All right ! I'll work 'im ; I've only just got this 
'ere row o' taturs to heal." 

HEART [haat] sb. Condition ; spoken of ground. 

" My garden's in better heart than common this 

HEARTENING, adj. Strengthening. 

" Home-made bread is more heartening than baker's 

HEART-GRIEF, sb. Severe grief. 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 73 

HEARTH [hee-rth] sb. Hearing; hearing-distance. 

" I called out as loud's ever I could, but he warn't no 
wheres widin hearth'' 

HEARTS ALIVE ! [haats ulei-v] interj. An expression of 
astonishment at some strange or startling intelligence. 

" Hearts alive ! what ever upon earth be ye got at ? " 

HEAVE [heev] vb. To throw ; to heave a card ; to play it ; 
it being, as it were, lifted up or heav'd, before it is laid 
down upon the table. 

HEAVE-GATE [heev-gait] sb. A gate which does not work 
on hinges, but which has to be lifted (heaved) out of the 
sockets or mortises, which otherwise keep it in place, 
and make it look like a part of the fence. 

HEAVENSHARD [hevnz-haa*d] adv. Heavily; said of rain. 
" It rains heavens hard." 

HEAVER [hee-vur] sb. A crab. Folkestone. 

" Lord, sir, it's hard times ; I've not catched a pung 
or a heaver in my stalkers this week ; the man-suckers 
and slutters gets into them, and the congers knocks 
them all to pieces." 

HEED [heed] sb. Head. 

HEEVE [heev] (i) sb. A hive; a bee-hive. 

" I doant make no account of dese here new-fangled 
boxes and set-outs ; you may 'pend upon it de old 
heeves is best after all." 

HEEVE [heev] (2) vb. To hive bees. 

HEFT [heft] sb. The weight of a thing, as ascertained 
by heaving or lifting it. 

" This here heeve '11 stand very well for the winter, 
just feel the heft of it." 

HEG, sb. A hag ; a witch ; a fairy. 

" Old coins found in Kent were called kegs pence by 
the country people." 

74 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

HELE [heel] vb. To cover. (See Heal.) 

HELER [hee'ler] sb. Anything which is laid over another ; 
as, for instance, the cover of a thurrick or wooden 

HELL-WEED, sb. A peculiar tangled weed, without any 
perceptible root, which appears in clover, sanfoin or 
lucerne, and spreads very rapidly, entirely destroy- 
ing the plant. Curiously enough, it appears in the 
second cut of clover, but does not come in the first. 
(See Devil's Thread.) Cuscuta epithymum. 

HELVING [helvin] partc. Gossiping, or " hung up by the 
tongue/ ' Tenter den. 

"Where have you been helving?" 

HEM, adv. An intensitive adverb very, exceedingly. 
" Hem queer old chap, he is ! " 

HEMWOODS [hem-wuodz] sb. pi. Part of a cart-horses' 
harness which goes round the collar, and to which 
the tees are fixed ; called aimes (hames) in West 

HEN AND CHICKENS, sb. The ivy-leaved toad-flax, other- 
wise called Mother of Thousands ; and sometimes 
Roving Sailor. Linaria vulgar is. 

HERE AND THERE A ONE, adj. phr. Very few and scattered. 

" There wasn't nobody in church to-day, only here 
and there a one." 

HERNSHAW [hurn-shau] sb. A heron. (See also Kitty 
Hearn, Kitty Hearn Shrow.) 

HERRING-FARE herr' ing-fair] sb. The season for catching 
herrings, which begins about the end of harvest. 

HERRING-HANG, sb. A lofty square brick room, made 
perfectly smoke - tight, in which the herrings are 
hung to dry. 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 75 

HERRING-SPEAR, sb. The noise of the flight and cries of 
the red-wings ; whose migration takes place about the 
herring fishing time, 

" I like's to hear it," says an old Folkestone fisher- 
man, " I always catches more fish when it's about." 

HETHER [hedh-ur] adv. Hither. 
" Come hether, my son." 

HEYCOURT [hai-koart] sb. The High Court, or principal 
Court of the Abbot's Convent of St. Augustine's, 

HICKET [hik-it] vb. To hiccup, or hiccough. 

HIDE, sb. A place in which smugglers used to conceal 
their goods. There were formerly many such places in 
the neighbourhood of Romney-marsh and Folkestone. 

HIDE AND FOX [heid und foks] sb. Hide and seek; a 
children's game. 

" Hide fox, and after all." Hamlet, act iv. sc. 2., 
means, let the fox hide and the others all go to seek him. 

HIGGLER [hig-lur] sb. A middleman who goes round 
the country and buys up eggs, poultry, &c., to sell 
again. So called, because he higgles or haggles over 
his bargains. 

HIKE [heik] vb. To turn out. 

" He hiked 'im out purty quick." 

HILL [hil] sb. The small mound on which hops are planted ; 
a heap of potatoes or mangold wurzel. 

HINK [hingk] sb. A hook at the end of a stick, used for 
drawing and lifting back the peas, whilst they were 
being cut with the pea-hook. The pea-hook and hink 
always went together. 

HIS-SELF, pron. Himself. 

" Ah ! when he's been married two or three weeks 
he won't scarcely know his-self. He'll find the differ- 
ence, I lay ! " 

76 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

HOATH [hoa-th], HOTH [hoth] sb. Heath ; a word which 
is found in many place-names, as 

HOBBLE [hob'l] sb. An entanglement; difficulty; puzzle; 

" I'm in a reg'lar hobble." 

HOBBL'D [hobl-d]//. Puzzled; baffled; put to a difficulty. 
HOCKATTY KICK [hok'utikik-] sb. A lame person. 
HOCKER-HEADED [hok'ur-hed'id] adj. Fretful; passionate. 

HODENING [hod-ning] partc. A custom formerly prevalent 
in Kent on Christmas Eve ; it is now discontinued, but 
the singing of carols at that season is still called hoden- 
ing. (See Hoodening.} 

HOG-BACKED [hog-bakt] adj. Round backed ; applied 
to a vessel when, from weakness, the stem and stern 
fall lower than the middle of the ship. 

HOG-HEADED, adj. Obstinate. 

" He's such a hog-headed old mortal, 'taint no use 
saying nothing to him/' 

HOG-PAT, sb. A trough made of boards. 

HOILE [hoi-1] sb. The beard or stalk of barley or other 
corn. (See lies.} 

HOLL [hoi], HULL [hul] vb. To throw ; to hurl. 
" Ha ! there, leave off hulling o' stones." 

HOLLY-BOYS AND IVY-GIRLS, sb. pi. It was the custom 
on Shrove Tuesday in West Kent to have two figures 
in the form of a boy and girl, made one of holly, the 
other of ivy. A group of girls engaged themselves 
in one part of a village in burning the holly-boy, which 
they had stolen from the boys, while the boys were 
to be found in another part of the village burning 
the ivy-girl, which they had stolen from the girls, 
the ceremony being, in both cases, accompanied by 
loud huzzas. 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 77 

HOLP [hoalp] vb. Helped ; gave ; delivered. 

" Assur also is joined with them, and have holpen 
the children of Lot." Psalm Ixxxiii. 8. 

"What did you do with that letter I gave you to 
the wheelwright ? " " I holp it to his wife/' 

HOLP-UP, vb. Over-worked. 

" I dunno as I shaant purty soon look out another 
plaace, I be purty nigh holp-up here, I think." 

HOLT [hoa-lt] sb. A wood. Much used in names of places, 
as Birc^tf//, Knock&?//, &c. 

HOMESTALL [hoa'mstaul] sb. The place of a mansion- 
house ; the inclosure of ground immediately connected 
with the mansion-house. 

HOMMUCKS [honruks] sb. pi. Great, awkward feet. 

HOODENING [huod-ning] sb. The name formerly given to 
a mumming or masquerade. Carol singing, on Christ- 
mas Eve, is still so called at Monckton, in East Kent. 

The late Rev. H. Bennett Smith, Vicar of St. 
Nicholas-at-Wade, the adjoining parish to Monkton, 
wrote as follows in 1876, "I made enquiry of an 
old retired farmer in my parish, as to the custom 
called Hoodning. He tells me that formerly the 
farmer used to send annually round the neighbour- 
hood the best horse under the charge of the wagoner, 
and that afterwards instead, a man used to represent 
the horse, being supplied with a tail, and with a 
wooden [pronounced ooden or hooden] figure of a 
horse's head, and plenty of horse-hair for a mane. 
The horse's head was fitted with hob-nails for teeth ; 
the mouth being made to open by means of a string, 
and in closing made a loud crack. The custom has 
long since ceased." (See Hodening above.) 

HOOGOO [hoo-goo] sb. A bad smell ; a horrible stench ; 
evidently a corruption of the French haut gout. 

" A Kentish gamekeeper, noticing a horrible stench, 
exclaimed : " Well, this is a pretty hoogoo, I think ! " 

7 8 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

HOOK [huok] sb. An agricultural tool for cutting, of 
which there are several kinds, viz., the bagging-hook, 
the ripping- hooky &c. 

HOP [hop] (i)vb. To pick hops. 

" Mother's gone out hopping." 

HOP (2) sb. Wood fit for hop-poles. 

HOP-BIND [hop-beind] sb. The stem of the hop, whether 
dead or alive. (See also Bine.} 

HOP-DOG [hop-dog] (i) sb. A beautiful green caterpillar 
which infests the hop-bine, and feeds on the leaves. 

(2) An iron instrument for drawing the hop-poles out 
of the ground, before carrying them to the hop-pickers. 

HOPE [hoap] sb. A place of anchorage for ships. 

HOPKIN [hop-kin] sb. A supper for the work-people, after 
the hop-picking is over. Not often given in East Kent 
now-a-days, though the name survives in a kind of small 
cake called huffkin, formerly made for such entertain- 
ments. (See Huffkin, Wheatkin.) 

HOPPER [hop-ur] sb. A hop-picker. 

" I seed the poor hoppers coming home all drenched." 

HOPPING [hop'ing] sb. The season of hop-picking. 

" A fine harvest, a wet hopping." Eastry Proverb. 

HOP-PITCHER [hop*pichur] sb. The pointed iron bar used 
to make holes for setting the hop-poles, otherwise 
called a dog, a hop-dog, or a fold-pitcher. 

HOP-SPUD, sb. A three-pronged fork, with which hop 
grounds are dug. 

HORN [haun] sb. A corner. 

HORN-FAIR, sb. An annual fair held at Charlton, in Kent, 
on St. Luke's Day, the i8th of October. It consists of 
a riotous mob, who, after a printed summons, disperse 
through the adjacent towns, meet at Cuckold's Point, 
near Deptford, and march from thence, in procession, 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 79 

through that town and Greenwich to Charlton, with 
horns of different kinds upon their heads ; and, at the 
fair, there are sold ram's horns, and every sort of toy 
made of horn ; even the ginger-bread figures have 
horns. It was formerly the fashion for men to go to 
Horn-fair in women's clothes. 

HORNICLE [honrikl] sb. A hornet. 

HORSE [hors] (i) sb. The arrangement of hop-poles, tied 
across from hill to hill, upon which the pole-pullers 
rest the poles, for the pickers to gather the hops into 
the bins or baskets. 

HORSE [hors] (2) vb. To tie the upper branches of the 
hop-plant to the pole. 

HORSEBUCKLE [horsbuk*!] sb. A cowslip. Primula veris. 
HORSE EMMETS [hors enrutz] sb. pi. Large ants. 

HORSE-KNOT, sb. The knap-weed ; sometimes also called 
hard-weed. Centaurea nigra. 

HORSE-LOCK [hors-lok] sb. A padlock. 

A.D. 1528. " Paid for a hors lok . . . vj d ." 

Accounts of St. John's Hospital, Canterbury. 

HORSENAILS [hors-nailz] sb. pi. Tadpoles. Probably so 
called because, in shape, they somewhat resemble 
large nails. 

HORSE PEPPERMINT [hors pep*rmint] sb. The common 
mint. Mentha sylvestris. 

HORSE-ROAD [hors-road] sb. In Kent, a road is not divided 
as elsewhere, into the carriage-road and the footpath ; but 
into the horse-road and fae foot-road. This name carries 
us back to the olden times when journeys were mostly 
made on horseback. 

HORSES, sb. pi. To set horses together, is to agree. 

" Muster Nidgett and his old 'ooman can't set their 
horses together at all, I understand 

8o Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

HORT [hort] vb. Hurt. 

" Fell off de roof o' de house, he did ; fell on's head, 
he did ; hort 'im purty much, I can tell ye." 

HOTCH [hotsh] vb. To move awkwardly or with diffi- 
culty in an irregular and scrambling way. French, 
hocher, to shake, jog, &c. " He hatched along on the 
floor to the top of the stairs." " I hustled through the 
crowd and she hotched after me." So, when a man 
walking with a boy keeps him on the run, he is des- 
cribed as keeping him hotching. 

HOUGHED [huff'id] vb., past p. from hough, to hamstring, 
but often used as a mere expletive. 

" Snuff boxes, shows and whirligigs, 
An houghed sight of folks." Dick and Sal, st. 9. 

HOUSE [houz] vb. To get the corn in from the fields into 
the barn. 

" We've housed all our corn." 

HOUSEL [hous'l] sb. Household stuff or furniture. 

" I doant think these here new-comers be up to 
much ; leastways, they didn't want a terr'ble big cart 
to fetch their housel along ; they had most of it home 
in a wheelbar'." 

HOVEL [hovl] (i) vb. To carry on the business of a hoveler. 

HOVEL [hovl] (2) sb. A piece of good luck ; a good haul ; 
a good turn or time of hovelling. 

In some families, the children are taught to say in 
their prayers, " God bless father and mother, and 
send them a good hovel to-night." 

HOVELER [hoviler] sb. A hoveler 's vessel. A Deal boat- 
man who goes out to the assistance of ships in distress, 
The hovelers also carry out provisions, and recover lost 
anchors, chains and gear. They are first-rate seamen, 
and their vessels are well built and well manned. 

HOVER [hovr] adj. Light; puffy; raised; shivery; hunched- 
up. Hence, poorly, unwell. 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 81 

HOVER [hovr] vb. To throw together lightly. There is 
a special use of this word with regard to hops. In 
East Kent it is the custom to pick, not in bins, but 
in baskets holding five or six bushels. The pickers 
gather the hops into a number of small baskets or 
boxes (I have often seen an umbrella used), until they 
have got enough to fill the great basket ; they then call 
the tallyman, who comes with two men with the green- 
bag; one of the pickers (generally a woman) then comes 
to hover the hops ; this is done by putting both hands 
down to the bottom of the great basket, into which the 
hops out of the smaller ones are emptied as quickly 
but gently as possible, the woman all the while raising 
the hops with her hands ; as soon as they reach the 
top, they are quickly shot out into the green bag 
before they have time to sag or sink. Thus, very 
inadequate measure is obtained, as, probably, a bushel 
is lost in every tally ; indeed, hovering is nothing more 
than a recognized system of fraud, but he would be a 
brave man who attempted to forbid it. 

HOWSOMEDEVER [hoirsumdevr], HOWSOMEVER [hou-sum- 
evr] adv. Howsoever. 

" But howsomdever, doant ram it down tight, but 
hover it up a bit." 

HUCK [huk] (i) sb. The husk, pod, or shell of peas, beans, 
but especially of hazel nuts and walnuts. 

HUCK [huk] (2) vb., act. and neut. To shell peas ; to get 
walnuts out of their pods. 

u Are the walnuts ready to pick ? " " No, sir, I tried 
some and they won't huck." 

HUFFKIN [huf-kin], HUFKIN, sb. A kind of bun or light 
cake, which is cut open, buttered, and so eaten. (See 

HUFFLE [hufl] sb. A merry meeting ; a feast. 

HUGE [heuj], HUGY [heuj-i] adv. Very. " I'm not huge 
well." Sometimes they make it a dissyllable, hugy. 
The saying hugy for huge is merely the sounding of 
the final , as in the case of the name Anne, commonly 
pronounced An-ni. It is not Annie. 

82 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

HULL [hul] (i) sb. The shell of a pea. 

"After we have sheel'd them we throw the hulls 

HULL [hul] (2) vb. To throw ; to hurl. (See Holl.] 
" He took and hulled a gurt libbet at me." 

HUM [hum] vb. To whip a top. 

HUNG UP [hung up] vb. Hindered ; foiled ; prevented. 

" He is quite hung up" i.e., so circumstanced that 
he is hindered from doing what otherwise he would. 

HURR [hur] adj. Harsh ; astringent ; crude ; tart. 
" These 'ere damsons be terr'ble hurr." 

HUSBAND [huz-bund] sb. A pollard. 

Huss [hus] sb. Small spotted dog-fish. Scyttium canicula. 

HUSSLE [hus-1] vb. To wheeze ; breathe roughly. 
" Jest listen to un how he hussies." 

HUSSLING [hus-ling] sb. A wheezing ; a sound of rough 

" He had such a hussling on his chest." 

HUSSY [hus'i] vb. To chafe or rub the hands when they 
are cold. 

HUTCH [huch] sb. The upper part of a wagon which 
carries the load. A wagon consists of these three 
parts : (i) the hutch, or open box (sometimes enlarged 
by the addition of floats] which carries the corn or 
other load, and is supported by the wheels ; (2) the 
tug, by which it is drawn ; and (3) the wheels on 
which it runs. 

HUXON [huks-n] sb. pi. The hocks or hams. 

HYSTE [heist] sb. A call ; a signal. 

" Just give me a hyste y mate, when 'tis time to goo." 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 83 


ICE [eis] vb. To freeze. 

" The pond iced over, one day last week/' 
ICILY [ei-sili] sb. An icicle. 
IKEY [ei-ki] adj. Proud. 

ILES [eilz] sb. pi. Ails, or beards of barley. (See also 

ILLCONVENIENT [il'konveen-yunt] adj. Inconvenient. 

INNARDLY [in-urdli] adv. Inwardly. 

"He's got hurt innardly som'ere." 

" He says his words innardly" i.e., he mumbles. 

INNARDS [in-urdz] sb. The entrails or intestines ; an 
innings at cricket. 

"They bested 'em first innards." 

INKSPEWER [ink-speu-r] sb. Cuttle-fish. 

INNOCENT [in-oasent] adj. Small and pretty ; applied to 

" I do always think they paigles looks so innocent- 

IN 'OPES [in'oaps] phr. For in hopes. It is very singular 
how common this phrase is, and how very rarely East 
Kent people will say / hope; it is almost always, " I'm 
in 'opes." If an enquiry is made how a sick person 
is, the answer will constantly be, " I'm in 'opes he's 
better;" if a girl goes to a new place, her mother 
will say, "I'm in 'opes she'll like herself and stay." 

IN SUNDERS [in sun*durz] adv. Asunder. 

"And brake their bands in sunder." Psalm cvii. 14. 

INTERFERE [in-turfee*r] vb. To cause annoyance or 

" I was obliged to cut my harnd tother-day, that's 
what interferes with me," 

84 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

INTERRUPT [in-turrupt-] vb. To annoy; to interfere with 
anyone by word or deed ; to assault. 

A man whose companion, at cricket, kept running 
against him was heard to say : "It does interrupt 
me to think you can't run your right side; what a 
thick head you must have ! " 

ISLAND [ei-lund] sb. In East Kent the island means the 
Isle of Thanet. 

" He lives up in the island, som'er," i.e., he lives 
somewhere in Thanet. 

ITCH [ich] vb. (i.) To creep ; (ii.) to be very anxious. 
IVY GIRL [ei-vi gurl] sb. (See Holly boys.} 


JACK IN THE BOX, sb. A reddish-purple, double poly- 

JACK-UP [jak-up] vb. To throw-up work ; or give up any- 
thing from pride, impudence, or bad temper. 

" They kep' on one wik, and then they a\ljacked-up!" 

JAUL [jau-1] vb. To throw the earth about and get the 
grain out of the ground when it is sown, as birds do. 

" The bothering old rooks have jauled all de seeds 
out o' de groun'." 

JAWSY [jau*zi] adj. Talkative. From the jaws. 
JOCK [jok] vb. To jolt; (the hard form of jog). 
JOCKEY [jok-i] adj. Rough ; uneven. 
JOCLET [jok'lit] sb. A small manor, or farm. 

TOYND" 1 STOOL [jornd-stool] sb. A stool framed with 
joints, instead of being roughly fashioned out 
of a single block. 

" It. in the great parlo 1 ', one table, half-a-dowsin of 
high joind-stooles . . . " Memorials of Eastry, p. 225. 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 85 

JOKESY [joa-ksi] adj. Full of jokes ; amusing ; full of fun. 
" He's a very jokesy man/' 

JOLE [joal] sb. The jowl, jaw or cheek ; proverbial 
expression, " cheek by jole "= side by side. 

" He claa'd hold on her round de nick 
An 'gun to suck har jole? \i.e., to kiss her.] 

Dick and Sal, st. 67. 

JOLLY [joH] adj. Fat ; plump ; sleek ; in good condition, 
used to describe the condition of the body, not of the 

JOSKIN, sb. A farm labourer (more especially a driver of 
horses, or carter's mate,) engaged to work the whole 
year round for one master. 

JOSS-BLOCK [jos-blok] sb. A step used in mounting a horse. 

JOUN [jou*n] vb. joined. 

" He jouned in with a party o' runagate chaps, and 
'twarn't long before he'd made away wid all he'd got." 

JOY [jau-i] sb. The common English jay. 
JUDGMATICAL, adj. With sense of judgment. 

JULY-BUG [jeu*lei-bug] sb. A brownish beetle, commonly 
called elsewhere a cockchafer, which appears in July. 
(See also Bug.} 

JUNE-BUG [jeu'n-bug] sb. A green beetle, smaller than 
the July-bug, which is generally to be found in June. 

JUSTLY [just-li] adv. Exactly ; precisely ; for certain. 

" I cannot justly say," i.e., I cannot say for certain. 

JUST, intensive adv. Very ; extremely. 

"I just was mad with him." "Didn't it hurt me just?" 

JUST-SO [just-soa] adv. Very exactly and precisely ; 
thoroughly ; in one particular way. 

" He's not a bad master, but he will have every- 
thing done just-so ; and you wunt please him without 
everything is just-so, I can tell ye ! " 

JUT [jut] sb. A pail with a long handle. 

86 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 


KARFE [kaa-f] sb. The cut made by a saw ; the hole 
made by the first strokes of an axe in felling or 
chopping wood ; from the verb to carve. (See Carf, 
which is out of place on p. 25.) 

KEALS [keelz] Ninepins. 

KEEKLEGS [kee'klegz] sb. An orchis. Orchis mascula. 
(See Kites legs.} 

KEELER [kee-lur] sb. A cooler; being the special name 
given to a broad shallow vessel of wood, wherein milk 
is set to cream or wort to cool. 

In the Boteler Inventory, we find : " In the milke 
house one brinestock, two dozen of trugs, ix. bowles, 
three milk heelers, one charne and one table." 

Memorials of Eastry, p. 228. 

"Half a butter -tub makes as good a keeler as 

KEEN, sb. A weasel. 

KEEP -ALL -ON, vb. To continue or persevere in doing 

" He kep-all-on actin' the silly." 

KEG-MEG [keg-meg] sb. A newsmonger ; a gossip ; a 
term generally applied to women. 

KELL [kel] sb. A kiln. 

KENTISH MAN, sb. A name given by the inhabitants of 
the Weald to persons who live in other parts of the 

KEPT GOING [kep- goa-ing] vb. Kept about (i.e., up and 
out of bed) ; continued to go to work. 

" He's not bin well for some time, but he's kep' 
going until last Saddaday he was forced to give up." 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 87 

KERN [kur-n] vb. To corn ; produce corn. 

" There's plenty of good kerning \ax\.6. in that parish." 

KETTLE-MAN [ket*l-man] sb. Lophius piscatorius, or sea- 

KEYS [keez] sb. pi. Sycamore-seeds. 

" The sycamore is a quick-growing tree, but trouble- 
some near a house, because the keys do get into the 
gutters so, and in between the stones in the stable- 

KICK - UP - JENNY [kik-up-jin-i] sb. A game played, 
formerly in every public-house, with ninepins (smaller 
than skittles) and a leaden ball which was fastened to 
a cord suspended from the ceiling, exactly over the 
centre pin ; when skilfully handled the ball was swung 
from the extreme length of the cord, so as to bring down 
all the pins at once. 

KiDWARE [kid*wair] sb. Peas ; beans, &c. 

KILK [kilk], KINKLE [kingk-1] sb. Charlock. Sinapis 
arvensis^ the wild mustard. 

KILN-BRUSH [kil-n-brush] sb. A large kind of fagot, bound 
with two wiffs or withs, used for heating kilns. (See 
Bobbin, Pimp and Wffi) 

KINDLY [kei-ndli] adj. Productive; used with reference 
to land which pays for cultivation. 

" Some on it is kindly land and som' on it ain't." 

KING JOHN'S MEN, one of. A term applied to a short man. 

" He's one of King John's men, six score to the 

Six score, 120, was the old hundred, or long-hundred. 

KINK [kingk] (i) sb. 9 KINKLE [kingk-1] sb. A tangle; a 
hitch or knot in a rope. 

" Take care, or you'll get it into a kink." 
KlNK [kingk] (2) vb. To hitch ; twist ; get into a tangle. 

88 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

KINTLE [kinH] sb. A small piece; a little corner. So 
Bar grave MS. Diary, 1645. " Cutt owt a kintle." (See 
also Cantle.} 

KIPPERED [kip-urd] adj. Chapped ; spoken of the hands 
and lips, when the outer skin is cracked in cold weather. 

" My hands are kippered." 

KIPPER-TIME, sb. The close season for salmon. 

A.D. 1376. "The Commons pray that no salmon be 
caught in the Thames between Gravesend and Henly 
Bridge in kipper-time, i.e., between the Feast of the 
Invention of the Cross [14 Sept.] and the Epiphany 
[6 Jan.] and that the wardens suffer no unlawful net 
to be used therein." Dunkin's History of Kent, p. 46. 

KITE'S LEGS [keets-legs]. Orchis mascula. 

KITTENS [kit-nz] sb. pi. The baskets in which the fish are 
packed on the beach at Folkestone to be sent by train 
to London and elsewhere. 

KITTLE [kit-1] (i), KIDDLE [kid-1] vb. To tickle. 

KITTLE [kit-1] (2), KITTLISH [kit-lish] adj. Ticklish ; un- 
certain ; difficult to manage. 

" Upon what kittle, tottering, and uncertain terms 
they held it." Somner, of Gavelkind, p. 129. 

The cuckoo pint is so called in West Kent. Arum 

KITTY HEARN [kit-i hurn] sb. The heron. 

KITTY HEARN SHROW [kit-i hurn shroa] sb. The heron. 

KITTY-RUN-THE-STREET, sb. The flower, otherwise called 
the pansy or heartsease. Viola tricolor. 

KNOLL [noa-1] sb. A hill or bank ; a knole of sand ; a 
little round hill; used in place names Knowle, Knowl- 

Dictionary of the Kentish, Dialect. 89 

KNOWED [noa-d] vb. Knew. 

" I've knowed 'im ever since he was a boy/' 

KNUCKER [nuk-rj vb. To neigh. 

LACE [lais] vb. To flog. The number of words used in 
Kent for chastising is somewhat remarkable. 

LADY-BUG [lai-di-bug] sb. A lady-bird. (See Bug?) This 
little insect is highly esteemed. In Kent (as elsewhere), 
it is considered unlucky to kill one, and its name has 
reference to our Lady, the blessed Virgin Mary, as is 
seen by its other name, Marygold. 

LADY-LORDS [lai-di-lordz] sb. pi. Lords and ladies ; the 
name given by children to the wild arum. Arum 

LADY-KEYS [lardikee'z] sb. pi. Same as Lady-lords. 

LAID IN [lai'd in] vb. A meadow is said to be laid in for 
hay, when stock are kept out to allow the grass to 

LAIN [lain] sb. A thin coat (a laying) of snow on the 

" There's quite a lain of snow." 

LANT-FLOUR [lau-nt-flou-r] sb. Fine flour. 

LASHHORSE [losh-us] sb. The third horse from the plough 
or wagon, or horse before a pinhorse in the team. 
East Kent. 

LASH OUT [lash out] vb. To be extravagant with money, 
&c. ; to be in a passion. 

" Ye see, he's old uncle he left 'im ten pound. Ah I 
fancy, he jus' did lash out upon that ; treated every- 
body, he did." 

90 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

LAST [laast] (i) sb. Ten thousand herrings, with a hundred 
given in for broken fish, make a last. 

LAST [laa-st] (2) sb. An ancient court in Romney Marsh, 
held for levying rates for the preservation of the 

LATHE [laidh] (Anglo-Saxon, lath] (i) sb. A division of 
the county of Kent, in which there are five lathes, viz., 
Sutton-at-Hone, Aylesford, Scray, St. Augustine's, and 

LATHE [laidh] (2) vb. To meet. 

LATH [? laidh or lath] sb. The name of an annual court, 
held at Dymchurch. One was held i5th June, 1876, 
which was reported in the Sussex Express of 1 7th June, 

LATHER [ladh-ur] sb. Ladder. 

" They went up a lather to the stage." MS. Diary 
of Mr. John Bargrave, Fellow of Peterhouse, Cam- 
bridge, 1645. Mr. Bargrave was nephew of the Dean 
of Canterbury of that name, and a Kentish man. 
The family were long resident at Eastry Court, in 
East Kent. This pronunciation is still common. 

LAVAST [lavust] sb. Unenclosed stubble. 

LORCUS- HEART [lau'kus - hart] inter j. As " O lorcus- 
heart," which means " O Lord Christ's heart." 

LAWYER [laa'yur] sb. A long thorny bramble, from which 
it is not easy to disentangle oneself. 

LAY, LEY [lai] sb. Land untilled. We find this in place- 
names, as Z^sdown i n Sheppey. 

LAY-INTO, vb. To give a beating. 

" It's no use making friends with such beasts as 
them (bulls), the best way is to take a stick and lay 
into them. 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 91 

LAYSTOLE [lai-stoal] sb. A rubbish heap. 

"Scarce could he footing find in that fowle way, 

For many corses, like a great lay-stall 
Of murdered men, which therein strowed lay 
Without remorse or decent funerall." 

The Faerie Queene, I. v. 53. 

LEACON [lee*kun] sb. A wet swampy common ; as, Wye 
Leacon y Westwell Leacon. 

LEAD [leed] (i) sb. The hempen rein of a plough-horse, 
fixed to the halter by a chain, with which it is driven. 

LEAD [leed] (2) sb. Way ; manner. 

" Do it in this lead" i.e., in this way. 
LEARN [lurn] vb. To teach. 

" O learn me true understanding and knowledge." 
Psalm cxix. 66 (Prayer Book version). 

LEASE [leez] vb. To glean ; gather up the stray ears of 
corn left in the fields. 

LEASE-WHEAT [lee-zweet] sb. The ears picked up by the 

LEASING [lee-zing] partc. Gleaning. 

LEASTWISE [lee-stweiz] adv. At least ; at all events ; any- 
how ; that is to say. 

" Tom's gone up int' island, leastwise, he told me as 
how he was to go a wik come Monday." 

LEATHER, vb. To beat. 

" Catched 'im among de cherries, he did : and leathered 
'im middlin', he did." 

LEAVENER [levunur, levnur] sb. A snack taken at eleven 
o'clock ; hence, any light, intermediate meal. (See 

LEER [leer] sb. Leather; tape. 

" I meane so to mortifie myselfe, that in steede of 
silks I wil weare sackcloth ; for owches and bracel- 
letes, leere and caddy s ; for the lute vse the distaffe." 

Lilly's EuphueS) ed. Arber, p. 79. 

9 2 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

LEES [leez] (i) sb. A common, or open space of pasture 
ground. The Leas [leez] is the name given at Folke- 
stone to the fine open space of common at the top of 
the cliffs. 

LEES [leez] (2) sb. A row of trees planted to shelter a hop- 
garden. (See Lew.) 

LEETY [lee-ti] adj. Slow ; behind-hand ; slovenly. Thus 
they say : 

" Purty leety sort of a farmer, I calls 'im." 

LEF-SILVER, sb. A composition paid in money by the 
tenants in the wealds of Kent, to their lord, for leave 
to plough and sow in time of pannage. 

LEG-TIRED, adj. 

"Are ye tired, maate ? " " No, not so terr'bly, only 
a little leg-tired." 

LERRY [lerr'i] sb. The "part" which has to be learnt by 
a mummer who goes round championing. Sitting- 
bourne. (See Lorry.} 

LET, vb. To leak ; to drip. 

" That tap lets the water." 

LETCH [let'ch] sb. A vessel, wherein they put ashes, and 
then run water through, in making lye. 

LEW [loo] (i) sb. A shelter. Anglo-Saxon hleow, a 
covering ; a shelter. 

(2) A thatched hurdle, supported by sticks, and set 
up in a field to screen lambs, &c., from the wind. 

" The lambs 'ud 'ave been froze if so be I hadn't 
made a few lews." 

LEW [loo] (3) adj. Sheltered. 

" That house lies lew there down in the hollow." 

LEW [loo] (4) vb. To shelter, especially to screen and 
protect from wind. 

" Those trees will lew the house when they're up- 
grown," i.e., those trees will shelter the house and 
keep off the wind when they are grown up. 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 93 

LIB, vb. To get walnuts off the trees with libbats. 

LlBBAT, sb. A billet of wood ; a stick. 

1592. "With that he took a libbat up and beateth 
out his braines." Warner, Albion's England. 

LID [lid] sb. A coverlet. 

LIEF [leef] adv. Soon ; rather ; fain ; gladly. 
" I'd as lief come to-morrow." 

LIEF-COUP [leef-koop] sb. An auction of household goods. 

LIGHT [leit] (i) sb. The whole quantity of eggs the hen 
lays at one laying. (2) The droppings of sheep. (See 
also Tr eddies.} 

LIGHT UPON [leit upon] vb. To meet ; to fall in with any 
person or thing rather unexpectedly 

" He lit on him goin' down de road/' 
LIGHTLY [lei-tli] adv. Mostly. 

LIKE [leik] ( i ) vb. To be pleased with ; suited for ; in 
phrase, to like one's self. 

" How do you like yourself* " i.e., how do you like 
your present position and its surrounding ? 

LIKE [leik] (2). Adverbial suffix to other words, as 
pleasant-//^, comfortable-/^, home-/z#, &c. 

"It's too clammy-//^/' 

LINCH, LYNCH [lin-ch] sb. A little strip of land, to mark 
the boundary of the fields in open countries, called 
elsewhere landshire or landsherd, to distinguish a share 
of land. In Eastry the wooded ridge, which lies over 
against the church, is called by the name of the Lynch. 

LINGER [ling-ur] vb. To long after a thing. 
"She lingers after it." 

LINGERING [ling-uring] adj. Used with reference to a 
protracted sickness of a consumptive character. 

" He's in a poor lingering way," 

94 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

LlNGY [linj'i] adj. Idle and loitering. 

LINK [link] vb. To entice ; beguile ; mislead. 

"They linked him in along with a passel o' good-for- 
nothin' runagates/' 

LIRRY [lirr'i] sb. A blow on the ear. 

LISHY [lish-i] adj. Flexible ; lissome. Spoken of corn, 
plants and shrubs running up apace, and so growing 
tall and weak. 

LISSOM [lis*um] adj. Pliant ; supple. Contracted from 

LIST, adj. The condition of the atmosphere when sounds 
are heard easily. 

"It's a wonderful list morning." 
LlTCOP [lit-kup] sb. Same as Lief -coup. 
LlTHER [lidh-ur] adj. Supple ; limber ; pliant ; gentle. 

LIVERY [livuri] adj. The hops which are at the bottom 
of the poles, and do not get enough sun to ripen 
them are called white livery hops. 

LOB [lobj vb. To throw underhand. 

LODGE [loj] (i) sb. An outbuilding; a shed, with an im- 
plied notion that it is more or less of a temporary 
character. The particular use to which the lodge is 
put is often stated, as a c&rt-lodge y a 

" The daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in a 
vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers." 
Isaiah i. 8. 

" As melancholy as a lodge in a warren." 

Much Ado About Nothing, act ii. sc. i. 

LODGE [loj] (2) vb. To lie fast without moving. 

" That libbat has lodged up there in the gutter, and 
you can't get it down, leastways not without a lather." 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 95 

LODGED [loj-d] adj. Laid flat ; spoken of corn that has 
been beaten down by the wind or rain. 

" We'll make foul weather with despised tears, 
Our sighs, and they shall lodge the summer corn." 

Richard II. act iii. sc. 3. (See also Macbeth, iv. 1.55.) 
LOMPY [lomp-i] adj. Thick ; clumsy ; fat. 
LONESOME [loa-nsum] adj. Lonely. 
LONG-DOG [long-dog] sb. The greyhound. 

LONGTAILS [long-tailz] sb. pi. An old nickname for the 
natives of Kent. 

In the library at Dulwich College is a printed 
broadside entitled "Advice to the Kentish long-tails 
by the wise men of Gotham, in answer to their late 
sawcy petition to Parliament." Fol. 1701. 

LOOKER [luok*ur] (i) sb. One who looks after sheep and 
cattle grazing in the marshes. His duties with sheep 
are rather different from those of a shepherd in the 

LOOKER [luok-ur] (2) vb. To perform the work of a looker. 
" John ? Oh ! he's lookering." 

LOOKING-AT [luok-ing-at] sb. In phrase, " It wants no 
looking-at" i.e., it's plain ; clear ; self-evident. 

LOOK UPON [luok upun*] vb. To favour ; to regard kindly. 

" He's bin an ole sarvent, and therefore I dessay 
they look upon 'im." 

LOPE-WAY [loap-wai] sb. A private footpath. 

LORRY [lor-r'i], LURRY [lurr'i] sb. Jingling rhyme; spoken 
by mummers and others. (See LerryT] 

LOSH-HORSE, sb. The third horse of a team. (See Rod- 

96 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

LOVE [luv ; loov] sb. A widow. 

" John Stoleker's loove." 

Burris History of Parish Register s, p. 115. 

1492. "Item rec. of Belser's loue the full 
of our kene xvj s viij d . 

"Item rec. of Sarjanti's loue . . xiij s ivj d . 

" Item payde for the buryng of Ellerygge's 
loue and her monythis mynde . . . iiij s . 

Churchwardens' Accounts of St. Dunstarts, Canterbury. 

1505. " Rec. of Chadborny's loove for waste 
of ij torchys [at his funeral] . . . viij d . 

" Rec. of Chadborny's widow for the bequest 

of her husband iij s iiij d . 

Churchwardens' 1 Accounts of St. Andrew '.y, Canterbury. 

'Low [lou] vb. To allow; to suppose, e.g., "I 'low not," 
for " I allow not." 

'LOWANCE [lou-ans] sb. An allowance ; bread and cheese 
and ale given to the wagoners when they have brought 
home the load, hence any recompense for little jobs of 
work. (See Elevenses.} 

LOWEY [loa*i] sb. The ancient liberty of the family of 
Clare at Tunbridge, extending three miles from the 
castle on every side. 

" The arrangements made by the King for the ward- 
ship of Richard de Clare and the custody of the castle 
appear to have given umbrage to the Archbishop, who 
(circa, A.D. 1230) made a formal complaint to the King 
that the Chief Justiciary had, on the death of the late 
Earl, seized the castle and lowey of Tunbridge, which 
he claimed as fief of the archbishopric." 

Archaologia Cantiana, xvi. p. 21. 

Lows [loaz] sb. pi. The hollows in marsh land where the 
water stagnates. 

LUBBER HOLE, sb. A place made in a haystack when it is 
three-parts built, where a man may stand to reach the 
hay from the men in the wagon, and pitch it up to those 
on the top of the stack. 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 97 

LUCKING-MILL, sb. A fulling-mill. 

LUG-SAND [lug--sand] sb. The sand where the lugworm is 
found by fishermen searching for bait. 

LUG [lug], SIR PETER, sb. A person that comes last to 
any meeting is called Sir Peter Lug ; lug is probably 
a corruption of lag. (See Peter Grievous below.) 

LUSHINGTON, sb. A man fond of drink. 

" He's a reg'lar lushington, 'most always drunk." 

LUSTY [lust-i] adj. Fat; flourishing; well grown; in good 

" You've growed quite lusty sin' we seed ye last." 

LYSTE-WAY [list-wai] sb. A green way on the edge of a 
field. This word occurs in a MS. dated 1356, which 
describes the bounds and limits of the parish of Eastry, 
" And froo the weye foreseyd called wenis, extende the 
boundes and lymmites of the pishe of Easterye by a 
wey called lyste toward the easte." 

Memorials of Eastry ', p. 28. 


MABBLED [mab-ld] vb. Mixed; confused. 

"An books and such like mabbled up." Dick and Sal, st. 70. 

MAD [mad] adj. Enraged ; furious. 

" Being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted 
them." Acts xxvi. n. 

MAGGOTY [mag-uti] adj. Whimsical ; restless ; unreliable. 
" He's a maggoty kind o' chap, he is." 

MAID [maid] sb. A little frame to stand before the fire to 
dry small articles. (See Tamsin.) 

g 8 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialed. 

MAN OF KENT, phr. A title claimed by the inhabitants 
of the Weald as their peculiar designation ; all others 
they regard as Kentish men. 

MANNISH [man'ish] adj. Like a man ; manly. 
" He's a very mannish little chap." 

MAN-SUCKER [man-suk-r] sb. The cuttle fish. Folkestone. 

MARCH [march] sb. Called in East Kent "March many 

MARM [maam] sb. A jelly. 

MARSH [maa-sh] sb. In East Kent the Marsh means 
Romney Marsh, as the Island means the Isle of 
Thanet in East Kent, or Sheppy in North Kent. 

Romney Marsh is the fifth quarter of the world, 
which consists of Europe, Asia, Africa, America and 
Romney Marsh. (See Mash.) 

MARYGOLD [marr'igold] sb. A lady bird. The first part 
of the name refers to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the 
latter, gold^ to the bright orange, or orange-red, colour 
of the insect. This little insect is highly esteemed in 
Kent, and is of great service in hop-gardens in eating 
up the fleas and other insects which attack the hops. 
(See Golding'.) 

MASH [mash] sb. A marsh. (See Marsh y Mesh.} 

MATCH -ME -IF -YOU -CAN, sb. The appropriate name of 
the variegated ribbon-grass of our gardens, anciently 
called our lady's laces, and subsequently painted laces, 
ladies' laces, and gardener's garters. Phalaris arun- 

MATCH-RUNNING, MATCH- A-RUNNING, sb. A game peculiar 
to Kent, and somewhat resembling prisoner's base. 
(See also Stroke-bias) 

MATE [mait, and also mee-ut] sb. A companion ; comrade ; 
fellow-labourer ; friend ; used especially by husband or 
wife to one another. 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 99 

MAUDRING [mau-dring] vb. Mumbling. 

MAUND (i) [maand, maund], MAUN [maun], MOAN [moan], 
sb. A large, round, open, deep wicker basket, larger at 
top than bottom, with a handle on each side near the 
top (some have two handles, others of more modern 
pattern have four) ; commonly used for carrying chaff, 
fodder, hops, &c., and for unloading coals. 

Shakespeare uses the word 

" A thousand favours from a maund she drew, 
Of amber, crystal and of braided jet." 

Lovers' Complaint, st. vi. 

MAUND (2) sb. A hay-cock is called a maund of hay (? a 
mound of hay). 

MAUNDER [mau-nder] vb. (i.) to scold; murmur; complain. 

(ii.) To walk with unsteady gait ; to wander about 
with no fixed purpose. 

MAXUL [maks'l] sb. A dungheap ; also called max hi II ; 

maxon ; mixon ; mis ken. 

MAY-BUG [mai-bug] sb. A cockchafer, otherwise called a 


MAY HILL [mai hil] sb. Used in the phrase, " I don't 
think he'll ever get up May hill," i.e., I don't think he 
will live through the month of May. March, April and 
May especially, owing to the fluctuations of tempera- 
ture, are very trying months in East Kent. So, again, 
the uncertain, trying nature of this month, owing to 
the cold east or out winds, is further alluded to in the 

" Ne'er cast a clout 
Till May is out." 

MAY- WEED, sb. Anthemis cotula. 
MAZZARD [maz-urd] sb. Prunus amum. 

MEAL, sb. Ground wheat or any other grain before it 
is bolted. In bolting, the bran is divided into two 
qualities, the coarser retains the name of bran, and 
the finer is called pollard. 

ioo Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

MEASURE-FOR-A-NEW- JACKET, TO, vb. To flog; to beat. 

" Now, you be off, or I'll measure you for a new 

MEASURING-BUG, sb. The caterpillar. 

MEECE [mees] sb. pi. Mice. 

"Jus" fancy de meece have terrified my peas." 

MEACH [mee-ch] vb. To creep about softly. (Sometimes 

MEEN, vb. To shiver slightly. 

MEENING [meen-ing] sb. An imperfect fit of the ague. 

MEGPY [meg-pi] sb. The common magpie. 

MELT [melt] sb. A measure of two bushels of coals. 

MENAGERIE [menaaj-uri] sb. Management; a surprising 
and clever contrivance. 

" That is a menagerie ! " 
MENDMENT, sb. (Amendment.) Manure. 
MENNYS [men*is] sb. Same as Minnis. 

MERCIFUL [mersiful] adj. Used as an intensive expletive, 
much in the same way as "blessed" or "mortal" are 
used elsewhere. 

" They took every merciful thing they could find." 

MERRIGO [merr'igoa] sb. A lady bird. (Corruption of 
Mary gold.} 

MESH [mesh and maish] sb. A marsh. (See Mash.} 

MESS-ABOUT, vb. To waste time. 

" Don't keep ail-on messing-about like that, but come 
here directly-minute." 

METT [met] sb. A measure containing a bushel. Anglo- 
Saxon metan, to measure. 

1539. " Paid for a mett of salt xj d ." 

MS. Accounts, St. Johris Hosptial, Canterbitry. 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 101 

MEWSE [meuz] sb. An opening through the bottom of a 
hedge, forming a run for game. 

MIDDLEBUN [mid-lbun] sb. The leathern thong which 
connects the hand-staff of a flail with the swingel. 

MIDDLEMAS [mid-lmus] sb. Michaelmas. 

MIDDLING [mid-ling] adj. A word with several shades of 
meaning, from very much or very good, to very little 
or very bad. The particular sense in which the word 
is to be taken for the time is determined by the tone 
of the speaker's voice alone. 

MIDDLINGS, sb. An instalment of shoe-money, sometimes 
given to the pickers in the middle of the hopping time. 

MILCH-HEARTED [milch-haaHd] adj. Timid; mild; tender- 
hearted ; nervous. 

" Jack won't hurt him, he's ever so much too milch- 

MILL [mil] vb. To melt. 

MILLER'S EYE [mil*urz ei] sb. To put the miller's eye out 
is when a person, in mixing mortar or dough, pours 
too much water into the hole made to receive it ; then 
they say, " I reckon you've put the miller's eye out 
now ! " Eastry. 

MILLER'S-EYES [mil-urz-eiz] sb. pi. Jelly-fish. Dover. 

MILLER'S THUMB [mil-urz-thum] sb. A fish which is other- 
wise known as bull-head. Coitus gobio. 

MlND [meind] (i) sb. To be a mind to a thing; to intend ; 
purpose; design it. The complete phrase runs thus, 
" I'm a mind to it." 

MIND [meind] (2) vb. To remember. 

" Do you mind what happen' d that time up in 

MINE [mein] sb. Any kind of mineral, especially iron-stone. 

102 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

MiNNlS [miiris] sb. A wide tract of ground, partly copse 
and partly moor ; a high common ; a waste piece of 
rising ground. 

There are many such in East Kent, as Swingfield 
Minnis, Ewell Minnis, &c. 

MINT [mint] sb. The spleen. 

MINTY [mint'i] adj. Full of mites, used of meal, or cheese. 

MINUTE [min-it] sb. A Kentish man would say, " a little 
minute" where another would say, " a minute." So, 
" a little moment" in Isaiah xxvi. 20, " Hide thyself 
as it were for a little moment, until the indignation 
be overpast." 

MINUTE [mirrit] sb. Directly -minute, immediately. (See 
Dreckly -minuted) 

MISCHEEVIOUS, adj. Mischievous. 

MISERY [miz*ur'i] sb. Acute bodily pain ; not sorrow or 
distress of mind, as commonly. 

" He's gone in great misery for some time." 
MiSHEROON, sb. A mushroom. 

MISKEN [mis -kin] sb. A dunghill. (See Mixon, Maxon, 

MlSS, sb. Abbreviation of mistress. Always used for 
Mrs., as the title of a married woman. 

MIST [mist] impers. vb. "It mists" i.e., rains very fine 

MlSTUS [mis'tus] sb. Mistress ; the title of a married 

" My mistus and me's done very well and comfortable 
together for 'bove fifty year ; not but what we've had a 
misword otherwhile, for she can be middlin' contrairy 
when she likes, I can tell ye." 

MiSWORD [mis'wurd] sb. A cross, angry, or abusive word. 
" He's never given me one misword." 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 103 

MITHERWAY, interj. phr. Come hither away. A call by 
a wagoner to his horses. 

MITTENS [mit-nz] sb. pi. Large, thick, leathern gloves 
without separate fingers, used by hedgers to protect 
their hands from thorns. 

MIXON [miks-un] (Anglo-Saxon, mix, dung; mixen, a 
dung-hill) sb. A dung-heap ; dung-hill. Properly one 
which is made of earth and dung ; or, as in Thanet, of 
seaweed, lime and dung. Otherwise called maxon ; 
in E as try, maxul. 

MIZMAZE, sb. Confusion ; a puzzle. 

" Time I fell off de stack, soonsever I begun to look 
about a little, things seemed all of a mizmaze." 

1678. "But how to pleasure such worthy flesh and 
blood, and not the direct way of nature, is such a miz- 
maze to manhood/' Howard, Man of Newmarket. 

MOAN, sb. A basket, used for carrying chaff or roots for 
food ; and for unloading coals. (See Maun, Maund.) 

MOKE [moak] sb. A mesh of a net. 

MOLLIE [mol-i] sb. A hedge sparrow ; otherwise called 
dicky hedge-poker. 

MONEY [mmri] sb. The phrase, " good money," means good 
pay, high wages. 

" He's getting good money, I reckon." 

MONEY-IN-BOTH-POCKETS, sb. Lunar ia biennis. The plant 
otherwise known as honesty, or white satin- flower, as it 
is sometimes called from the silvery lustre of its large 
circular-shaped saliques, which, when dried, were used 
to dress up fire-places in summer and decorate the 
chimney-mantels of cottages and village inns. The 
curious seed-vessels, which grow in pairs, and are 
semi-transparent, show the flat disc -shaped seeds 
like little coins within them, an appearance which 
no doubt originated the name, Money -in-both-pockets. 

iO4 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

MONEY-PURSE [mun*i-pus] sb. A purse. 

" He brought our Jack a leather cap 
An' Sal a money-puss" Dick and Sal, st. 16. 

MONEY-SPINNER, sb. A small spider supposed to bring 
good luck. 

MONKEY-PEA [mun-kipee] sb. Wood-louse ; also the ligea 
oceanica, which resembles the wood-louse, and lives in 
the holes made in the stone by the pholades. 

MONT [munt] sb. Month. 

MOOCH [mooch] vb. To dawdle. 

MOOR [moor] sb. Swampy and wet pieces of ground. 

MOORNEN [moo'rneen] sb. A moor hen. 

MOOT [moo't] sb. The root or stump of a tree, which, 
when felled, is divided into three parts ; ist, the moot ; 
2nd, the stem ; 3rd, the branches. 

MORE [moa'r] adv. Used of size or dimensions ; as, " as 
big more" i.e., as big again. 

MORT [mort], MOT [mot] sb. Abundance ; a large 
quantity; a multitude. A mort of money, apples, 
birds, men, &c. 

MOSES [moa-ziz] sb. A young frog. East Kent. 
MOST-TIMES [moa'st-teimz] adv. Generally ; usually. 

MOSTEST [moa*stist] adv. Farthest ; greatest distance. 

" The mostest that he's bin from home is 'bout 
eighteen miles." 

East Kent people seldom travel far from home. 

MOTHER OF THOUSANDS [mudh-ur uv thou-zundz] sb. 
Linaria cymbularia. 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 105 

MOTHERY [mudh'ur'i] adj. Out of condition ; muddy ; 
thick ; with a scum or mould upon it. 

" The beer's got pretty mothery, seeminly." 

MOVE, sb. An action or plan. 

" Well, that's a middlin' silly move, let be how 'twill." 

MOWL [moul] sb. Mould. 

MUCH [much] (i) vb. To fondle; caress; pet. 

" However did you manage to tame those wild 
sheep?" "Well, I mutched 'em, ye see." 

MUCH [much] (2) adj. Used with regard to the state of 
the health. 

" How are ye to-day ? " " Not much, thank ye." 

MUCH AS EVER [much az evr] adv. Hardly ; scarcely ; 
only just ; with difficulty. 

" Shall you get done (i.e., finish your job) to-day ? " 
"Much as ever" 

MUCH OF A MUCHNESS, advl. phrase. Very much alike ; as 
like as two peas. 

MUCK [muk] (i) vb. To dirty ; to work over-hard. 

MUCK [muk] (2) sb. A busy person. 

" De squire was quite head muck over this here 
Jubilee job." 

MUCK ABOUT [muk ubou-t] vb. To work hard. 

" He's most times mucking about some where' s or 

MUCKED UP [muk*t-up] adv. All in confusion and dis- 

" I lay you never see such a place as what master's 
study is ; 'tis quite entirely mucked-uf with books." 

MUDDLE ABOUT [mud-1 ubou-t] vb. To do a little work. 
"As long as I can just muddle about I don't mind." 

io6 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

MULLOCK [mul*uk] vb. To damp the heat of an oven. A 
diminutive of Old English mull, which is merely a 
variant of mould. 

MUNTON [munt-n] sb. The mullion of a window. This 
is nearer to the medieval form munnion. 

MUSH [mushj sb. A marsh. 

MUSHEROON [mush-iroon] sb. A mushroom. French, 

MUSTER [must'r] sb. Mister (Mr.), the title given to an 
employer, and often contracted into muss. The 
labourer's title is master ', contracted into mass. 

" Where be you goin', Mass Tompsett ? " 
" Well, I be goin' 'cross to Muss Chickses." 


NABBLER [nab-lur] sb. An argumentative, captious person ; 
a gossip ; a mischief-maker. 

NAIL [narl] sb. A weight of eight pounds. 

NAILBOURN [narlburn or narlboarn] sb. An intermittent 

Harris, in his History of Kent \ p. 240, writes, "There 
is a famous eylebourn which rises in this parish [Petham] 
and sometimes runs but a little way before it falls into 
the ground;" and again at p. 179, Harris writes, 
" Kilburn saith that A.D. 1472, here (at Lewisham) 
newly broke out of the earth a great spring ; " by 
which he probably meant an eylebourn or nailbourn. 

"Why! the nailbourn 's begun to run a' ready." 

NATCHES [nach-ez] sb. The notches or battlements of a 
church tower. 

NATE [nait] sb. Naught ; bad. 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 107 

NATIVE [nartiv] sb. Native place ; birthplace. 

" Timblestun (Tilmanstone) is my native, but I've 
lived in Eastry nearly forty years come Michaelmas." 

NATURE [narchur] sb. Way ; manner. " In this nature," 
in this way. 

NAWN STEERS [naun steerz] sb. pi. Small steers. Cf. 
French nain y dwarf. 

NEAT [neet] vb. To make neat and clean. 

NEB [neb] sb. A peg used to fasten the pole of an ox- 
plough to the yoke. (See Dyster.) 

NE'ER A ONCE, adv. Not once. 

NEIGHBOUR, vb. To associate. 

" Though we live next door we don't neighbour." 

NESS [nes] sb. A promontory ; a cape ; a headland. Seen 
in place names as ~Dungeness, Sheerness, &c. French, 
Nez ; Scandinavian, Naze. So the English sailors call 
Blanc NeZy opposite Dover, Blank-?z$\y or ^Black-ness. 

NET [net] sb. A knitted woollen scarf. 

NEWLAND [neu*lund] sb. Land newly broke up or ploughed. 

NICKOPIT [nik-uphv] sb. A bog ; a quagmire ; a deep hole 
in a dyke. 

NlDGET [nij-it] sb. A shim or horse-hoe with nine irons, 
used for cleaning the ground between the rows of hops 
or beans. 

NIGGLING [nig-lin] adj. Trifling ; petty ; troublesome on 
account of smallness. 

" There, I tell ye, I aint got no time for no sich 
niggling jobs." 

NIMBLE DICK [nimb-1 dik] sb. A species of horse-fly or 
gad-fly, differing somewhat from the Brims. 

NIPPER [nip-ur] sb. A nickname given to the youngest or 
smallest member of a family. 

io8 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

NiSY [nei'si] sb. A ninny ; simpleton. 

NIT, sb. The egg of a louse or small insect. 

" Dead as a nit" is a common expression. 

NOD [nod] sb. The nape of the neck. With this are 
connected noddle, noddy; as in the nursery rhyme 

" Little Tom Noddy, 
All head and no body." 

NOHOW [noa-hou] adv. In no way ; not at all. 

" I doant see as how as I can do it, not nohow." 

NONCE [nons] sb. The phrase, "for the nonce" means 
for the once, for that particular occasion ; hence, on 
purpose with design or intent. 

NONE [nun] adj. " None of 'em both/' i.e., neither of 'em. 

NONE-SO-PRETTY, sb. The name of the little flower, other- 
wise known as London pride. Dianthus barbatus. 

NOOKIT, sb. A nook. 

No OUGHT [noa aut] advbl. phrase. Ought not. 

" The doctor said I no ought to get out/' The ex- 
pression " you ought not " is seldom used ; it is almost 
invariably no ought. A similar use of prepositions 
occurs in such phrases as up-grown, out-asked, &c. 

No PRINCIPLE. This expression is only applied in Kent to 
people who do not pay their debts. 

NORATION [noar'ai'shun] sb. A fuss ; a row ; a set out or 
disturbance by word or deed. (See also Oration.} 

"What a noration there is over this here start, 
surelye ! " 

No SENSE, adj. phr. Nothing to speak of ; nothing to 

" It don't rain ; leastways, not no sense." 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 109 

NOTCH [noch] vb. " To notch up" to reckon or count ; 
alluding to the old method of reckoning at cricket, 
where they used to take a stick and cut a notch in it 
for every run that was made. 

NOYES [noiz] adj. Noisome ; noxious ; dangerous ; bad 
to travel on. 

" I will it be putt for to mende fowle and noyes ways 
at Collyswood and at Hayne." Lewis, p. 104. 

NUNCHEON [nunch-yun] sb. A mid-day meal. The original 
meaning was a noon-drink, as shewn by the old spell- 
ing, none-chenche, in Riley's Memorials of London, p. 


" When laying by their swords and truncheons 
They took their breakfasts or their nuncheons? 

H^id^bras, pt. I. canto I. 
NURITY [neu*r'iti] sb. Goodness. 

"The bruts run away with all the nurity of the 
potato." West Kent. 

NUTHER [nudh-ur] conj. Neither; giving an emphatic 
termination to a sentence. 

" And I'm not going to it, nuther" i.e., I am not 
going to do it, you may be sure ! 


OARE [oar] sb. Seaweed ; seawrack. This is the name 
of a parish in North Kent, near Faversham, which is 
bounded on the north by the river Swale, where pro- 
bably great quantities of seaweed collected. 

" To forbid and restrain the burning or 

taking up of any sea oare within the Isle of Thanet." 
Lewis, p. 89. 

OAST [oast] sb. A kiln for drying malt or hops, but 
anciently used for any kind of kiln, as a bryk-^atf, 
i.e., brick-kiln. Old Parish Book of Wye, 34 Henry 

1 1 o Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

Canon W. A. Scott -Robertson, says, "This name 
for a kiln was used in Kent long before hops were 
introduced/' In a deed, dated 28 Edward I. (copied 
by Mr. Burt, in the Record Office), we find, " Roger 
de Faukham granting to William de Wykewane, and 
Sarah, his wife, 3 acres of land which 'jacent apud le 
Lymoste in parochia de Faukham/' " During Wat 
Tyler's insurrection, some of the insurgents went to 
a place called the Lymost, in Preston-next-Faversham, 
on the 5th of June, 1381, and ejected .... goods and 
chattels of Philip Bode, found there, to wit, lime, 
sacks, &c." Archceologia Cantiana, III. 90. In a 
lease, dated 1455, and granted by the Churchwardens 
of Dartford to John Grey and John Vynor, we read, 
" The tenants to build a new lime-oast that shall 
burn eight quarters of lime at once." Landale's 
Documents of Dartford, p. 8. Limehouse, a suburb 
of London, seems to have been named from a lym- 
oste ; it was not formed into a parish until the i8th 
century. In a valuation of the town of Dartford, 29 
Edward I., we find mention of "John Ost, William 
Ost and Walter Ost." 

OBEDIENCE [oabee*dyuns] sb. A bow or curtsey ; an 

" Now Polly, make your obedience to the gentleman ; 
there's a good girl." 

'OD RABBIT IT [od rab-it it] inter j. A profane expression, 
meaning, "May God subvert it." From French rabattre. 

OF [ov] prep. Used for with, in phrase, " I have no 
acquaintance of such a person." 

OFFER [of -ur] vb. To lift up ; to hold up anything for the 
purpose of displaying it to the best advantage. 

I once heard a master paperhanger say to his assist- 
ant, when a customer was inspecting some wall-papers, 
" Just offer this paper up for the lady to see." 

OFF FROM, vb. To avoid ; prevent. 

" I couldn't be off from going, he made such a point 
of it." 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 1 1 1 

OLD, adj. This word is constantly applied to anything or 
anybody without any reference to age. 

OLD MAN, sb. Southernwood. Artemisia abrotanum. 

ONE-EYED, adj. Inconvenient ; a general expression of 

" That's a middlin' one-eyed place." 

" I can't make nothin 3 of these here one-eyed new- 
fashioned tunes they've took-to in church ; why they're 
a'most done afore I can make a start." 

Oo [oo] sb. In phrase, " I feel all of a oo," i.e., I feel ill ; 
or, " That's all of a oo" i.e., that is all in confusion. 

OOD [ood] sb. Seaweed ; also wood. 

ORDER, sb. To be "in order" is a common expression for 
being in a passion. 

" When the old chap knows them cows have been 
out in the clover he'll be in middlin' order ; he'll begin 
to storm and no mistake ! " 

ORNARY [aun-ur'i] adj. Ordinary ; common ; poor ; in- 
ferior ; bad. 

"Them wuts be terr'ble ornary." 

OTHERSOME [udh-ursum] phr. Some others. 

"And some said, what will this babbler say? Other- 
some^ he seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods." 
Acts xvii. 1 8. 

OTHER WHERE-ELSE [udh-urwair'els-] adv. Elsewhere. 

OTHERWHILE [udh-ur-werl] adv. Occasionally. " Every 
otherwhile a little," z.e. 9 a little now and then. 

" And otherwhiles with bitter mocks and movves 
He would him scorne." Faerie Queen, b. 6, c. vii. xlix. 

OURN [ou-urn] poss. adj. Ours. (See Hisn.} 

1 1 2 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

OUR SAVIOUR'S FLANNEL [Our Saivyurz flan-1] sb. At 
Bridge, near Canterbury, this name is given to Echium 
vulgare (L.), and at Faversham to Verbascum thapsus 
(L.) Britten's Dictionary of English Plant Names. 

OUT [ou't] adj. A north, north-east, or east wind. 

" The wind is out to-day," i.e., it is in the east, north- 
east, or north. (See also Upward'} 

OUT-ASKED [ou-traa-st] adj 7. phrase. Used of persons whose 
banns have been asked or published three times, and 
who have come out of that stage unchallenged. 

OUTFACE [outfai-s] vb. To withstand ; resist face to face ; 
brazen it out. 

OUT-OF-DOORS, adj. Out of fashion. 

"I played de clarrynet, time we had a band in church 
and used to sing de psalms ; but 'tis all upset now ; 
dere's nothing goos down but a harmonium and a 
passel o' squallin' children, and dese here new-fangled 
hymns. As for poor old David, he's quite entirely put 
out o 3 doors." 

OUTROOPE [outroo-p] sb. An auction of household goods. 

Sandwich Book of Orphans. 

OUTRUNNINGS, sb. pi. Straggling wood beyond a hedge- 
row, not measured-in with the part to be cut. 

OUTSTAND [outstand-] vb. To oppose; to stand out 
against, either in making a bargain or an assertion. 

(Forerighty Upstand, &c.) 

" He outstood me that he hadn't seen him among de 

OVEN [uvn] sb. "To go to oven" is to bake. (See also 

OVER [oa'vur] prep. To. " I'm gooing over Oare," i.e., 
I'm going to Oare. 

OVER-RUN [oa'ver'un] vb. To overtake and pass. 

OXBIRD [oks-burdj sb. The common dunlin. Tringa 
variabilis. Called Oxybird in Sheppy. 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 1 1 3 


PADDOCK [pad-uk] sb. A toad. 

PADDY [pad-i] adj. Worm-eaten. 

PAIGLE [pai-gl] sb. Cowslip. East Kent. (See also Pegle.} 

PALM-TREE [paa-mtree] sb. The yew tree. 

Dr. Pegge says : u They will sometimes, on Palm 
Sunday, dress a church with yew-branches, which I 
think very strange, because this was always esteemed 
a funeral tree, but after they once called it the palm- 
tree^ the other mistake follow' d as it were on course/' 
See Gentleman's Magazine, December, 1779, P- 57^' 

To this day (1885) the old people in East Kent call 
the yew-tree the palm-tree, and there is, in the parish 
of Woodnesborough, a public-house called "The Palm- 
tree," which bears for its sign a clipped yew tree. 
See Memorials of Eastry, p. 1 16. 

PALTER [pau-ltur]. To wreck or pilfer stranded vessels 
and ill-use shipwrecked sailors. 

PANDLE [pand-1] sb. A shrimp. (Low Latin, pandalus.} 

PARCEL [paa'sl] sb. A portion ; a quantity; as "a. parcel 
of bread and milk." (See also Passel.) 

" He took a good parcel of bread and milk for 

PARGE [paa*j] vb. To put on an ordinary coat of mortar 
next to brick-work and tiling. 

PARGET [paa-jit] sb. Mortar. 

PAROCK [parr'uk] sb. A meeting to take an account of 
rents and pannage in the Weald of Kent. 

"When the bayliff or beadle of the lord held a 
meeting to take account of rents and pannage in the 
Weilds of Kent, such meeting was called a parock." 
Kennett MS. Parock is literally the same word as 

H4 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

PART [paat] sb. This word is frequently used redundantly, 
especially after back, e.g., " You'll be glad to see the 
back part of me," i.e., to see my back, to get me gone. 

PARTIAL [paa-shul] adj. Fond of. 

" I be very partial to pandles." 

PASS THE TIME o' DAY, vb. To salute those you meet on 
the road with " good morning," " good afternoon," or 
" good evening," according to the time of day. 

" I don't know the man, except just to pass the time 
d day." 

PASSEL [pas-1] sb. A parcel ; a number. 

" There was a passel o' boys hulling stones." 

PATTERN [pat-rn] vb. To imitate. 

" I shouldn't think of patterning my mistress." 

PAWL [pau-1] sb. A pole ; a stake ; a strut or prop, placed 
against a lodge or other building to support it. 

PAY-GATE [pai-gait] sb. A turnpike gate. 
PEA-BUG, sb. The wood-louse. (See Monkey-pea.} 

PEA-HOOK [pee-huok] sb. The implement used in con- 
junction with a hink for cutting peas. It was like a 
ripping -hook, only mounted on a longer handle. 
(See also Bagging-hook, Sickle.} 

PEART [pi-urt] adj. Brisk; lively. 

"He's bin out of sorts for a long time, but he's 
gettin' on better now ever s'much ; he's quite peart 
this mornin'." 

1592. "There was a tricksie girle, I wot, albeit clad in gray, 

As peart as bird, as straite as boulte, as freshe as flowers 
in May." Warner, Albiorts England. 

PECK [pek] sb. A heading knife, used by fishermen. 

PEDIGREE [ped-igree]. A long story ; a rigmarole. 
" He made a middlin' pedigree over it." 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 115 

PEEK [peek] vb. To stare ; gape ; look at. 

"An dare we pook't and peeked about 
To see what made it stick up." Dick and Sal, st. 47. 

PEEKINGS [pee-kingz] sb. pi. Gleanings of fruit trees. 

PEEKY [pee'ki] adj. Looking ill, or poorly ; often used of 
children when out of sorts. French, pique. 

" He's peart enough to-day agin', but he was terr'ble 
peeky yesterday." 

PEEL [peel], PEAL, sb. A long-handled, broad, wooden 
shovel, used for putting bread into the oven. 

1637. Payed for a peale for the kitchen, j s iij d ." 
MS. Accounts, St. John's Hospital, Canterbury. 

PEELER [pee-lr] sb. A round iron bar, used for making 
the holes into which hop-poles or wattles are placed. 
(See also Fold-pitcher.} 

PEGGY [peg-i], PEGGY -WASH -DISH [peg-i-wash-dishj sb. 
A water- wagtail. 

PEGLE [pee-gl] sb. A cowslip. Primula veris. (See Cul- 
verkeys y Horsebuckle.} 

"As yellow as a pegle." 

PELL [pel] sb. A deep place or hole in a river. 
PELT [pelt-] sb. Rags ; rubbish, &c. (See Culch.) 

PENT [pent] sb. (French, pente, a slope or declivity.) 
There is a place called " The Pent,' on a hill-side, in 
the parish of Postling. 

PERK [purk] vb. To fidget about restlessly. 

" How that kitten doos 'ks&p perking about." 

PESTER-UP, vb. To bother ; to hamper ; to crowd. 

" He'd got so much to carry away, that he was 
reg'lar pester ed-up, and couldn't move, no form at all." 

PET, sb. A pit. 

1 1 6 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

PETER -GRIEVOUS [pee-tur-gree-vus] adjl. phr. Fretful; 
whining ; complaining. (See Sir Peter Lug, where 
the name, Peter , is also introduced ; hence, it would 
seem not unlikely that the words were first used sar- 
castically of ecclesiastics.) 

PETH [peth] vb. To pith ; to sever the spinal cord or 
marrow of a beast. 

PETTYCOAT [peHkoat] sb. A man's waistcoat. 
PHARISEES [farr'iseez] sb. pi. Fairies. (See Fairisies^} 

PICK UPON [pik up*on] vb. To tease ; annoy ; make a 
butt of. 

" They always pick upon my boy coming home from 

PIG-POUND [pig-pou*nd] sb. A pig-sty. 

PIKY [pei'ki] sb. A turnpike traveller ; a vagabond ; and 
so generally a low fellow. 

PlLCH [pilch] sb. A triangular piece of flannel worn by 

FITTER [pit-ur] vb. To loosen the earth or throw it up 
lightly ; to throw it up gently ; also in phrase " To 
pitter about," meaning to go about fussing or fidget- 
ting. Sometimes miswritten pither. 

PILLOW-BERE [pil'oa-bee*r] sb. A pillow case. 

PILLOW-COOTS [pil-oa-koo-ts] sb. pi. Pillow coats or 
pillow cases. 

Amongst other linen in one of the chambers at 
Brook-street, we find " syx pillow-coots." 

Boteler Inventory in Memorials of Eastry, p. 229. 

PIMP [pinrp] sb. A small bundle of cleft wood, used for 
lighting fires. (See Kilnbrush, Wiff.} 

PlN-HORSE [piirus] sb. The second horse of a team, next 
in front of the rod-horse. East Kent. 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. t 1 7 

PINIES [pei-niz] Peonies. Pczonia. 

PINNER [pirrur] sb. The little button or fastening of a 
cupboard door. Allied to pin and pen. 

PINNOCK [pin'uk] sb. A wooden drain through a gateway. 

(See Thurrock.] 

PITTERING-IRON [pituring-eirn] sb. A poker. 
PLACE [plais] sb. A barton ; a courtyard. 
PLAGUESOME [plai-gsum] adj. Troublesome. 

PLANETS [plan-its] sb. pi. " It rains by planets," when 
showers fall in a small compass, in opposition to 
general rain. 

PLASH [plash] vb. To repair a live hedge, by cutting half 
through some of the stems near the ground and then 
bending the upper parts down, and keeping them so 
by means of hooked sticks driven into the bank. 

1536. " Payd .... for dykying and plasshing off 
a hedg." MS. Accounts, St. John's Hospital, Canterbury. 

PLATTY [plaH] adj. Scattered ; uncertain ; here and 
there ; uneven ; fastidious. Used of a thin crop of 
corn, or of a child who is sickly and dainty. 

PLAY [plai] UPON, vb. To dwell upon ; to work ; to worry. 
" It plays upon her mind." 

PLAYSTOOL [plai-stool] sb. An old word which apparently 
meant a public recreation ground, though certainly lost 
as such now, yet the word is very common throughout 
Kent as the name of a field which was once parish 
property. It is easy to see that playstool is a corruption 
of playstall, i.e., a play place, exactly as lay stole is a 
corruption of laystall. The plestor at Selborne, men- 
tioned by Gilbert White, is the same word. 

PLAY THE BAND, phr. Instead of saying " The band is 
going to play/' it is common to hear " They are going 
to play the band." 

1 1 8 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

PLENTY [plent-i] sb. A plenty ; enough. 
"There, there, that's aplenty." 

PLOG [plog] (i) sb. The block of wood at the end of a 
halter, to prevent its slipping through the ring of 
the manger. An intermediate form between plug 
and block. Elsewhere called a clog. 

PLOG [plog] (2) vb. To clog; to hamper; to retard; to 
be a drawback or disadvantage. 

" I reckon it must plog him terribly to be forced to 
goo about wid a 'ooden-leg." 

PLOT [plot] sb. A plan ; design ; sketch ; drawing. 

" Given to Mr. Vezy for drawing a plot for an house, 
O2 OO OO. Expense Book of James Master, Esq., 1656-7. 

PLUMP [plump] adj. Dry ; hard. 

"A plump whiting/' is a dried whiting. "The 
ways are plump" the roads are hard. 

POACH [poach] vb. To tread the ground into holes as the 
cattle do in wet weather. (See Putch.} 

POACHY [poa-chi] adj. Full of puddles. Description of 
ground which has been trampled into mud by the 
feet of cattle. 

POAD MILK [poa*d milk] sb. The first few meals of milk 
that come from a cow lately calved. (See also 
Beasts, Bis 'kins , Bismilk.} 

POCKET [pok-it] sb. A measure of hops, about i68-lbs. 

PODDER [pod-r] sb. A name given to beans, peas, tares, 
vetches, or such vegetables as have pods. 

PODDER-GRATTEN [pod'r-grot'n] sb. Podder-stubble ; the 
stubble of beans, peas, &c. (See Grotten.] 

PODGE [poj] sb. A pit or hole ; a cesspool. 

POINTING-POST [poi-nting-poast] sb. A sign-post, finger- 
post, direction post, standing at a corner where two or 
more ways meet, and pointing out the road travellers 
should take. 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 1 1 9 

POKE [poak], POOK [pook] sb. (i.) A sack. Hence, the 
proverbial phrase, " To buy a pig in a poke," i.e., to 
buy your pig without seeing it; hence, to make a bad 

" His meal-/0&? hang about his neck 

Into a leathern whang, 
Well fasten'd to a broad bucle, 

What was both stark and strang." Robin Hood, i. 98. 

The word is also specially used for the "green-bag" 
in which hops are conveyed from the garden to the 

(ii.) A cesspool. 

POLDER [poa-ldur] sb. A marsh ; a piece of boggy soil. 

" In Holland the peat polders are rich prairies 
situated below the level of the sea, containing a 
stratum of peat more or less thick." There .is in 
Eastry a place now called Felder land, but anciently 
" Polder land." There is also a place still called 
Polders, between Sandwich and Woodnesborough. 

POLP [poa'lp] sb. Pulp. The name given to a modern 
food for cattle, consisting of roots, chaff, grains, fodder, 
&c., all mashed and cut up small, and mixed together. 
East Kent. 

POLRUMPTIOUS [polrunrshus] adj. Rude ; obstreperous. 

POLT [poa-lt] (i) vb. To knock; to beat ; to strike. 

(2) sb. A peculiar kind of rat-trap. 

(3) adj. Saucy ; audacious. 

PONGER [pong-ur] sb. The large edible crab, Cancer- 
pagurus, is best known by this name in North Kent ; 
the name crab being restricted to the common shoe- 
crab. (See Pung.} 

POOCH OUT [poo'ch out] vb. To protrude. Rarely used 
except in speaking of the lips. 

"When I axed him for a holiday, I see his lip pooched 
out purty much ; didn't like it much, he didn't." 

POOCHY [poo'chi] sb. A bathe; a paddle in shallow water. 
"Let's go and have zpoochy." 

i2o Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

POOK [poo'k] sb. The poke or peak of a boy's cap. 

POOR [poo-r] adj. Bad. As, "poor weather ;" " a poor 
day." " Tis terr'ble poor land." 

POPEING [poa*ping] partc. To go popeing is to go round 
with Guy Fawkes on the 5th of November. 

"Please, sir, remember the old Pope!" 
POPY [poa-pi] sb. The poppy. Papaver. 

POST-BIRD [poa-st-burd] sb. The common spotted fly- 
catcher. Muscicapa grisola. 

POST HOLES [poa-st hoalz] sb. pi. Holes dug in the ground 
for the insertion of gate or fencing posts ; it is used in 
North Kent as a comic word for nothing. 

" What have ye got in the cart there?" "Oh! only 
a load of post-holes.'' Sittingbourne. 

POTHER-HOOK [podh'ur-huok] sb. A hook used for cutting 
a hedge. (See also Hook, Bagging-hook, &c.) 

POTHERY [podh*uri] sb. Affected by a disease to which 
sheep and pigs are liable ; it makes them go round 
and round, till at last they fall down. 

POUNCE [pou-ns] sb. A punch or blow with a stick or the 
closed fist. 

" I thoft I'd fetch him one more pounce, 
So heav'd my stick an' meant it." 

Dick and Sal, st. 76. 

POUT [pou't] (i), POWT, sb. A small round stack of hay 
or straw. In the field hay is put up into smaller heaps, 
called cocks, and larger ones, called pouts; when carted 
it is made into a stack. 

POUT [pou-t] (2) sb. The phrase, " Plays old pout," 
seems equivalent to " Plays old Harry," and similar 
expressions. Probably a variant of pouk, which, in 
Middle English, means "the devil." 

" I've been out of work this three days, and that 
plays old pout with you when you've got a family." 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 121 

POUTERS [pou-turz] sb. pi. Whiting-pouts. Folkestone. 

PREHAPS [pree-hapz] adv. Perhaps. 

PRESENT [prez-unt] adv. Presently ; at present ; now. 

PRETTY BETTY, sb. Flowering Valeriana rubra. 

This plant grows luxuriantly at Canterbury, on some 
of the walls of St. Augustine's College. 

PRETTY NIGH [purt-i nei] adv. Very nearly. 

" 'Tis purty nigh time you was gone, I think." 

PRICK UP THE EARS, vb. A proverbial saying is " You 
prick up your ears like an old sow in beans." 

PRICKLE [prik-1] sb. A basket containing about ten 
gallons, used at Whitstable for measuring oysters. 
Two prickles equal one London bushel. One prickle 
equals two wash (for whelks). But the prickle is not 
exact enough to be used for very accurate measuring. 

PRICKYBAT [prik-ibat] sb. A tittlebat. 

PRIM [prim] sb. The privet. Ligustrum vulgar e. 

PRINT [print-] adj. Bright; clear; starlight; light enough 
to read by. 

"The night v& print ;" "The moon is print; " "The 
moonlight is very print." 

PRITCHEL [prich-1] sb. An iron share fixed on a thick 
staff for making holes in the ground. 

PRODIGAL [prod-igl] adj. Proud. 

" Ah ! he's a proper prodigal old chap, he is." 

PROLE [proa-1] vb. To prowl, sb. A stroll ; a short walk, 
such as an invalid might take. 

" He manages to get a liddle prole most days, when 
'tis fine." 

PROPER [prop-ur] adj. Thorough; capital; excellent; 
beautiful ; peculiarly good or fitting. 

" Moses . . . was hid three months of his parents, 
because they saw he was a proper child." Heb. xi. 23. 

122 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

PROPERLY [prop-urli] adj. Thoroughly. 

" We went over last wik and played de Feversham 
party; our party bested 'em properly, fancy we did!" 

PRULE [proo-1] sb. A gaff-hook. Folkestone. 

PUCKER [puk-er] sb. A state of excitement or temper. 
" You've no call to put yourself in a pucker." 

PUDDING-PIE, sb. A flat tart made like a cheese-cake, with 
a raised crust to hold a small quantity of custard, with 
currants lightly sprinkled on the surface. These cakes 
are usually eaten at Easter but a Kent boy will eat 
them whenever he can get them. 

1670. "ALB. And thou hadst any grace to make 
thyself a fortune, thou wou'dst court this wench, she 
cannot in gratitude but love thee, prethee court her. 

" LOD. I'll sell pudding-pies first." 

Benjamin Rhodes. Fiords Vagaries (a comedy). 

PUDDOCK [pud-uk] sb. A large frog. (See also Paddock 
and Puttock^ 

PUG [pugj sb. Soft ground ; brick-earth, ready for the 

PULL [pul] vb. To pull up before the magistrates ; to 

" If he knocks me about again I shall pull him." 
" The ague's properly pulled him this time." 

PULL-BACK [pul-bak] sb. A drawback ; a hindrance ; a 
relapse after convalescence. 

PUMPIN [pump-in] sb. Pumpkin. 

" I know 'twas ya grate pumpin 'ead 
Fust blunnered through de glass." 

Dick and Sal, st. 81. 

PUNG [pung-], PUNGER [punj-ur] sb. The same as ponger. 

PUNNET [pun-it] sb. A pottle, or small basket, in which 
strawberries are sold. 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 123 

PURTY TIGHT [purH tei't] adv. phrase. Pretty well ; very 

" Now, Sal, ya see had bin ta school, 

She went to old aunt Kite ; 
An' so she was'en quite a fool, 

But cud read^r/y tight? Dick and Sal, st. 56. 

PUTCH [puch] sb. A puddle ; pit or hole. 
A putch of water. 

PUTTICE [put-is], PUTTAS [put'us] sb. A weasel ; a stoat. 

PUTTOCK [pufok] sb. A kite. 

So Puttrtfcs-down, a place in the ancient parish of 
Eastry, now in Worth parish, means kite's-down. 

PUTTOCK-CANDLE [put'uk-kand'l] sb. The smallest candle 
in a pound, put in to make up the weight. 

PUT-UPON [put'-upoir] vb. To worry and bother a person 
by giving him an unfair amount of work, or exacting 
from him time, strength, or money, for matters which 
are not properly within his province. 

" He's so easy, ye see, he lets hisself be put-upon by 


QUANT [kwont] sb. A young oak sapling; a walking stick; 
a long pole used by bargemen. 

QUARRELS, sb. pi. Quarries, or panes of glass. 

" Item for newe leadinge of the wyridow and for 
quarreles put in in Tomlyn's hale [hall] wyndowe, 
beinge 20 foote of glasse and 28 panes . . . vij s viij d ." 

Sandwich Book of Orphans. 

QUEER [kwee-r] vb. To make or cause to feel queer; to 

" It queers me how it ever got there." 
" I'll queer 'em." 

" But what queered me, he said, 'twas kep 
All roun about de church." Dick and Sal ', st. 10. 

124 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

QUEER-STREET [kwee-r-street] sb. An awkward position ; 
great straits ; serious difficulties. 

" But for that I should have been in queer -street!' 

QUERN [kwurn] sb. A handmill for grinding grain or seed. 
" Ite in the mylke house . . two charnes, a mustard 
quearne . . . ." Boteler Inventory, Memorials of E as try. 

QUICK [kwik] sb. Hawthorn, e.g., a quick hedge is a haw- 
thorn hedge. 

QUICKEN [kwik'en] sb. The mountain ash. Pyrus aucu- 

QUID [kwid] sb. The cud. 

" The old cow's been hem ornary, but she's up again 
now and chewing her quid." 

QUIDDY [kwid-i] adj. Brisk. 

QuiLLY [kwil'i] sb. A prank ; a freak ; a caper. 

QUITTER FOR QUATTER [kwit-r fur kwat*r] phr. One 
thing in return for another. (See Whicket^) 

QUOT [kwot] pp. or adj. Cloyed ; glutted. 


RABBIT'S MOUTH [rab-its mouth] sb. The snap-dragon. 
Antirrhinum majus. 

RACE MEASURE [rais mezh-r] sb. Even measure ; as dis- 
tinguished from full measure, which is 2 1 to the score, 
as of corn, coals, &c. ; while race measure is but 20. 
But full in this case has reference to the manner of 
measurement. When the bushel is heaped up it is 
full ; when struck with strickle and made even it is 
race measure. 

RACKSENED [raks*nd] adj. Overrun with ; given up to. 
" That oast yonder is racksened with rats." 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 125 

RAD [rad] sb. A rod; a measure, i6j feet. A rod of 
brickwork is i6j feet square ; but the ancient rod 
seems to have been 20 feet. 

"And then also the measurement of the marsh [i.e., 
Romney Marsh] was taken by a rod or perch, not of 
i6j feet, which is the common one now, but of 20 feet 
in length." Harris's History of Kent, p. 349. 

RADDIS-CHIMNEY [rad-is-chinrni] so. A chimney made 
of rods, lathes, or raddles, and covered with loam or 

RADDLE-HEDGE [rad-1-hej] sb. A hedge made with raddles. 

RADDLE [rad-1] sb. A green stick, such as wattles or 

hurdles are made of. In some countries called 

raddlings. Raddle is simply the diminutive of rad 
or rod. 

RADE [raid] adj. or adv. Coming before the usual time ; 
early. Milton has rathe. 

" Bring the rathe primrose that forsaken dies." 

Lycidas, 1. 142. 

RADICAL [rad-ikl] sb. A wild, ungovernable, impudent, 
troublesome fellow. 

" He's a rammed young radical!' 
RAFF [raf ] sb. Spoil ; plunder. 

RAFT [raa-ft] sb. A crowd of people ; a rabble. 
" There was such a raft of people there." 

RAGGED JACK [rag-id jak] sb. Meadow lychnis. Lychnis 

RAMMED [ranrd]. A substitute for a worse word. 

RAN [ran] sb. A Folkestone herring net, which is about 
thirty yards long, is made four rans deep ; and there 
are sixty meshes to a ran. 

RANGERS [rai-njurz] sb. pi. The bars with which the 
herring-hangs are fitted. Upon these rangers are 
placed the spits upon which the herrings are hung up. 

126 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

RAPID, adj. Violent ; severe ; as applied to pain. 

An old woman in Eastry Union Workhouse, who was 
suffering from sciatica, told me that " It was rapid in 
the night;" where there was no allusion to quickness 
of movement, but to the severity of the pain. 

RASTY [raa'sti] adj. Rank ; rancid ; rusty ; spoken of 
butter or bacon. 

RATTLEGATE [rat-lgait] sb. A hurdle or wattle. (See 
Raddle-hedge above.) 

RAVEL-BREAD [ravl-bred] sb. White-brown bread. 

RAW [rau] adj. Angry. Sittingbourne. 

REACH [reech] sb. A creek. 

REASTY [ree-sti] adj. Rusty ; rancid ; rank. (See Rasty.} 

RECKON [rek-un] vb. To consider; to give as an opinion. 
"I reckon" is an expression much used in Kent to 
strengthen observations and arguments. 

" I reckon we shall have rain before night." 

REDGER [rej-r] sb. A ridge-band; a chain which passes 
over a horse's back to support the rods. 

RED PETTICOAT, sb. The common poppy ; sometimes also 
called red-weed. Papaver. 

REECE [ree-s] sb. A piece of wood fixed to the side of the 
chep, i.e., the part of a plough on which the share is 

REEMER [ree-mur] sb. Anything very good. 

" I wish you'd seen that catch I made forty year 
agoo, when we was playin' agin de Sussex party. 
Ah ! that just was a reemer, I can tell ye ! Dey all 
said as how dey never seed such a catch all their 

REEMING [ree-ming] adj. Very good ; superior. 
REEVE [reev] sb. A bailiff. (See Reve.) 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 127 

REFFIDGE [refij] adj. Refuse ; good-for-nothing ; worth- 

" I never see so many reffidge taturs about as what 
there is this year." 

REFUGE [ref *euj] adj. Refuse ; the worst of a flock, &c. 
(See Reffidge.} 

" I sold my refuge ewes at Ashford market for thirty 

REMEMBERING, partc. To go round with Guy Fawkes 
on 5th November is called remembering. (See also 
Hoodening and Popeing^) 

" George and me went round remembering and got 
pretty nigh fower and threepence/' 

RENTS [rents] sb. pi. Houses ; cottages. 

A.D. 1520. "For a key to Umfrayes dore in the 
rentis" Accounts of St. John's Hospital, Canterbury. 

There is a street in London named Fullwood's Rents. 

REVE [reev] sb. A bailiff. 

1596. "In auncient time, almost every manor had 
his reue, whose authoritie was not only to levie the 
lord's rents, to set to worke his servaunts, and to 
husband his demeasnes to his best profit and com- 
moditie ; but also to governe his tenants in peace, 
and to leade them foorth to war, when necessitie so 
required." Lambarde's Perambulation, p. 484. 

REXON [reks-n] //. To infect, as with the small-pox, itch, 
or any other disorder. (See Wrexon.) 

REZON [rez*un] sb. A wall-plate ; a piece of timber placed 
horizontally in or on a wall, to support the ends of 
girders or joists. 

RIB [rib] sb. pi. A stick about 5 -ft. long and the thickness 
of a raddle. Ribs are done up into bundles, with two 
wiffs, and are used for lighting fires and making raddle- 

RiBSPARE [rib-spair] sb. The spare rib. 

128 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

RICE [reis] sb. Small wood ; a twig ; a branch. (See 
Roist.} Hamble, in Hants, is called Hamble-le-7-z'^. 

RID [rid] vb. Rode. 

" He rid along with him in the train o' Tuesday/' 

RIDDLE-WALL [rid-1-waul] sb. A wall made up with split 
sticks worked across each other. 

RIDE [reid] (i) vb. To rise upon the stomach. 

" I caan't never eat dese here radishes, not with no 
comfort, they do ride so/ 3 

RIDE [reid] (2) vb. To collect ; to ride tythe, is to ride about 
for the purpose of collecting it. 

RIDE [reid] (3) sb. An iron hinge on which a gate is hung, 
and by which it swings and rides. 

" It'm p d for makinge a newe doore in John Marten's 
house, the rydes, nayles and woork, ij s , viijV 

Sandwich Book of Orphans. 
(See also Arch<zologia Cantiana iv. 220.) 

RIDER [rei-dur] sb. A saddle-horse. 
" He kips several riders." 

RIG [rig] sb. The common tope. Galeus vulgaris. 

RIGHT, sb. The phrase, "To have a right to do anything," 
means, it is right that such a thing should be done. 

" I sed old Simon right to pay 
A'cause he was de fust an't." 

Dick and Sal, st. 79. 

RIGHTS [reits] sb. pi. To go to rights ; to go the nearest 

To do anything to rights, is to do it thoroughly. 

RING [ring] sb. A row. (See Ringe y 2.) 

RINGE [rinj] (i) sb. A large tub containing 14 or 16 
gallons, with which two servants fetch water from a 
distant place ; a pole, which lies upon the shoulders 
of the bearers, being passed through two iron rings 
or ears. 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 129 

RiNGE [rinj] (2) sb. (i.) Wood, when it is felled, lies in 
ringes before it is made up into fagots, &c. 

(ii.) A long heap in which mangolds are kept for 
the winter. 

RlNGE [rinj] (3) vb. To put up potatoes, mangolds, &c., 
into a ringe. 

" Well, Job, what have you got to do to-morrow ? " 
" I reckon I shall be ringeing wurzels." 

RlNGLE [ring-1] (i) sb. A ring put through a hog's 
snout ; and generally for any ring, such as the ring of 
a scythe. 

A.D. 1531. " Paid for a ryngle to a cythe .... j d ." 
Accounts of St. Johris Hospital, Canterbury. 

RlNGLE [ring-1] (2) vb. To put a ring through a pig's snout. 

RlNGLE [ring-1] (3) sb. An iron ring which forms the 
bit of a horse at plough. 

RIP [rip] (i) vb. To reap. So pronounced to this day. 
In one of the Boteler MS. Account Books (1648-1652), 
we have, " Disbursed fro m y e beginning of harvest . . 
It. more for ripping of pease, 6 shil. . . . It. for ripping 
of wheat at 3 shil. and 4*." (See Ripping-hook^) 

RIP [rip] (2) vb. To cover a roof with laths and tiles, &c. 
Thus, to \mrip the roof of a stable or outbuilding, is 
to take off the tiles, slates, &c., and to rip it, or new 
rip it, is to put on fresh laths and replace the tiles. 

May 3rd, 1850. "Visited and ordered the north 
and south side of the chancel roofs to be ripped and 
relaid ; a window in the south side of the church to 
be generally repaired once every year .... James 
Croft, Archdeacon/' Memorials of Eastry, p. 206. 

1640. " For ripping of Broth. Vause's house/' 

MS. Accounts ; St. John's Hospital, Canterbury. 

RIP [rip] (3) sb. A pannier or basket, used in pairs and 
slung on each side of a horse for carrying loads, such 
as fish, salt, sand, &c. (See Ripper below.) 
" Two payer of ripps, five payells, &c." 

Boteler Inventory, in Memorials of Eastry, p. 226. 

130 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

RIPE [reip] sb. A bank ; the sea shore, as " Lydd Ripe." 
In East Kent, the village of Ripple derives its name 
from the same Latin word, ripa. 

RIPPER [rip-r] sb. A pedler; a man who carries fish for 
sale in a rip or basket. 

RIPPING-HOOK [rip-ing-huok] sb. A hook for cutting and 
reaping (ripping) corn. Unlike the sickle, the ripping- 
hook had no teeth, but could be sharped with a whetstone. 

RlSH [rish] sb. A rush. 

" There be lots o' rishes in them there meyshes." 

RlT [rit] vb. To dry hemp or flax. 

RlTS [rits] sb. pi. The ears of oats are so called, and if 
there is a good crop, and the ears are full and large, 
they are said to be well ritted. 

RIVANCE [rei-vuns] sb. Last place of abode. " I don't 
justly know where his rivance is," i.e., where he came 
from or where he lived last. East Kent. Short for 

ROAD-BAT [roa*d-bat] sb. A bat or piece of wood that 
guides the coulter of a plough. (See Bat (i), Spread- 

ROAD-PROUD, adj. Crops which look well from the road, 
but are not so good as they look, are said to be road- 

ROBIN-HUS [rob-in-hus] sb. The small spotted dog-fish. 
Scyllium canicula. Folkestone. 

ROBIN-ROOK [rob-in-ruok] sb. A robin redbreast. (See 

RODFALL, sb. Sometimes in a wood there is a belt of wood 
about a rod (i6j-ft.) deep, not belonging to the same 
owner as the bulk of the wood, and felled at a different 
time ; as, 

"The wood belongs to Mus' Dean, but there's a 
rod/all joins in with Homestall." 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 131 

ROD-HORSE [rod-us] sb. A horse in the shafts or rods. 

The four horses of a team are called (i) The rod- 
horse ; (2) the pin-horse; (3) the losh-horse ; (4) the 

RODS [rodz] s. pi. The shafts of a cart or wagon. 

" He was riding on the rods when I see'd him/' 

ROIL [roil] vb. To make a disturbance ; to romp in a 
rough and indecent manner. 

RoiST [roi-st] sb. A switch ; brushwood, before it be made 
up into fagots. Called also Rice. 

ROMANCE [roamans*] vb. To play in a foolish manner ; 
to tell exaggerated stories. 

" My son never romances with no one." Weald. 

ROMNEY MARSH [Runrni Maa-sh] sb. Romney Marsh is 
considered to be a place so completely by itself, that 
there is a saying in Kent and in East Sussex, that the 
world is divided into five parts Europe, Asia, Africa, 
America and Romney Marsh. 

ROOKERY [ruok-ur'i] sb. A dispute accompanied with 
many words ; a general altercation. 

" He knocked up a hem of a rookery." 

ROOK-STARVING, partc. Scaring rooks. 

" The boy, he's rook-starvin down in the Dover field." 

ROOMS [roomz] sb. pi. Mushrooms ; as they say grass for 
(asparagus) sparrowgrass. 

ROOTLE [roo-tl] vb. To root up. 

" The pig must be ringled, or else he'll rootle up all 
the bricks in the stye." 

ROUGH [ruf] (i) sb. A small wood; any rough, woody 

ROUGH [ruf] (2) adj. Cross ; of uncertain temper ; difficult 
to please. 

" I lay you'll find 'im pretty 

132 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

ROUGHET [ruf-it], ROUGHIT, sb. A small wood. 

ROUNDLE [rou-ndl] sb. Anything round; the part of a 
hop-oast where the fires are made, which is generally 

ROUND-TILTH, sb. The system of sowing of land con- 
tinuously without fallow. 

ROWENS [rou-inz] sb. pi. Stubble. (See Ersh.) 

The second mowing of grass ; the third cut of clover. 
East Kent. 

1523. " Rec. of Cady for the rowen gras, xiiij d ." 

Accounts of St. John's Hospital, Canterbury. 

ROYSTER [roi-stur] vb. To play about roughly and noisily. 
From sb. roister, a bully ; French, rustre, a ruffian. 

" That there old Tom-cat has been &-roysteriri all 
over de plaace, same as though he was a kitten ; I 
reckon we shall have some weather before long." 

RUBBER [rub-r] sb. A whetstone. The mowers always 
carry one in a leathern loop attached to the back of 
their belts. 

RUBBIDGE [rub-ij] sb. Rubbish; weeds. 

RUCK [ruk] sb. An uneven, irregular heap or lump ; a 
wrinkle or uneven fold in cloth, linen, silk, &c. 

About Sittingbourne, when a man is angry, he is 
said "to have his ruck up." 

RUCKLE [ruk-1] sb. A struggle. 

RUDDLE [rud*l] vb. To make a fence of split sticks plaited 
across one another. 

RUDDLE-WATTLE [rud-1-waH] sb. A hurdle made of small 
hazel rods interwoven. (See Raddles.} 

RUDDOCK [rud-uk] sb. The robin redbreast. 

" The ruddock would 

With charitable bill O bill, sore-shaming 
Those rich-left heirs that let their fathers lie 
Without a monument ! bring thee all this." 

Cymbeline, act iv. sc. 2, 224. 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 133 

RUDE HEART, abv. By heart. 

" She read the psalms down ; but lor ! she didn't want 
no book ! she knowed 'em all rude heart" 

RUDY [retrdi] adj. Rude. 

RUGGLE-ABOUT [rug'l-ubou't] vb. A term used by old 
people and invalids to express walking or getting 
about with difficulty. 

"I'm troubled to ruggle-about" 

RUMBAL WHITINGS [runrbul wei-tingz] sb. pi. " The 
present minister, Mr. Sacket, acquainted me with an 
odd custom used by the fishermen of Folkestone to 
this day. They choose eight of the largest and best 
whitings out of every boat, when they come home 
from that fishery, and sell them apart from the rest ; 
and out of this separate money is a feast made every 
Christmas Eve, which they call rumball. The master 
of each boat provides this feast for his own company, 
so that there are as many different entertainments as 
there are boats. These whitings they call also rumball 
whitings. He conjectures, probably enough, that this 
word is a corruption from rumwold ; and they were 
anciently designed as an offering for St. Rumwold, 
' to whom, a chapel/ he saith, ' was once dedicated, 
and which stood between Folkestone and Hythe, but 
is long since demolished.' " 

Harris's History of Kent, p. 125. 

RUNAGATE [run-ugait] sb. A wild, reckless, dissolute young 
man ; a good-for-nothing fellow. Corruption of rene- 
gade. French, renegat. 

" But let the runagates continue in scarceness." 
Psalm Ixviii. 6. (Prayer Book version.) 

RUN AGIN [run ugin*] vb. To run against, i.e., to meet. 
" I'm glad I run agin ye." 

RUN-A-HEAD [run-uhed-] vb. To be delirious. 
" He was running-a-head all night long." 

RUNNET [run-it], RENNET, sb. The herb Gabium verum, 
yellow bed-straw. 

134 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

RUNNING [run-ing] sb. (See Stroke-bias.) 

RUNT [runt] sb. A small pig ; a diminutive or under- 
sized person. 

RUSH [rush] sb. The rash, or spotted fever. 
RUSTY [rust-i] adj. Crabbed ; out of temper. 

RUT [rut] vb. To keep a rut. To be meddling and doing 

RUTTLE [ruti] vb. To rustle ; to rattle. 

" I doant like to hear him ruttle so in his throat o' 
nights ; I am most feared he wun't be here long/' 


SAFE-SOWN [saif-soan] adj. Self-sown ; said of corn 
which comes up from the previous year's crop. 

SAG [pron. sag; saig; seg] vb. To sink; bend; give way; 
to be depressed by weight. A line or rope stretched 
out sags in the middle. The wind sags. Compare 
Anglo-Saxon sdgan, to cause, to descend. 

" The mind I sway by and the heart I bear, 
Shall never sag with doubt nor shake with fear." 

Macbeth, act v. sc. 3. 

SAGE [saij] sb. They have a saying round Appledore 
that when a plant of sage blooms or flowers then 
misfortune is nigh. It rarely flowers, because house- 
hold requirements generally keep it well cut. My 
informant told me of a man who saw the sage in his 
garden in bloom ; he was horrified, and told his 
daughter to cut off all the blossoms, but before she 
could do so, he met with an accident, by which he 
was killed. 

SAIME [saim] sb. Lard. (See also Seam.) 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 135 

SAINT' S-BELL [sarnts-bel] sb. The small bell, which is 
rung just before the service begins. 

" The only Saints-bell that rings all in." 

Hudibras HI. c. 2, 1224. 

1678. In the Character of a Scold we have " Her 
tongue is the clapper of the Devil's saint' s-bell, that 
rings all into confusion." 

Saint's -bell y is simply the old sanctus-bell, formerly 
rung at the elevation of the host, and now put to a 
different use. 

SALTERNS [sau-lturnz] sb. pi. Marshy places near the sea, 
which are overflowed by the tide. North Kent. (See 
also Saltings, Salts.) 

SALTINGS [sau-ltingz] sb. pi. Salt marshes on the sea- 
side of the sea-walls ; generally rich alluvial land, 
but too much cut up by grips to be of much use for 
grazing. North Kent. 

SALTS [salts] sb. pi. Same as Salterns. 

SALVEY [sal-vi and saavi] adj. Close ; soapy ; spoken of 
potatoes that are not floury. 

SAND-RATE [sand-rait] sb. The Ray. Raia clavata. 

SAP [sap-] vb. To catch eels with worms threaded on 
worsted ; elsewhere called Bobbing. 

SARE [sair] adj. Tender ; rotten ; worn ; faded ; as " My 
coat is very sare." (See Sere.} 

SARTIN [saat-in] adj. Stern ; severe ; stedfast. 

" He knowed there was something up, he did look 
that sartin at me." 

SAUCE, sb. For sauciness. 

" I don't want none o' your sauce." 

SAY [sai] (i) vb. To try; to essay. 

"When a hog has once say'd a garden, you'll be 
troubled to keep him out." 

136 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

SAY [sai] (2) vb. " Give us something to say" means, 
give us a toast. 

SAY SWEAR [sai swair]. In the phrase, " Take care or I 
shall say swear" i.e., don't exasperate me too much, 
or, "if you go on, I shall say swear," i.e., I shall be 
thoroughly put out and use any amount of bad 

SCAD, SKAD [skad] sb. A small black plum, between a 
damson and a sloe ; a bastard damson, which grows 
wild in the hedges. The taste of it is so very harsh 
that few, except children, can eat it raw, nor even 
when boiled up with sugar. 

SCADDLE [skad-1] adj. Wild ; mischievous ; spoken of a 
dog that worries sheep ; of a cat that poaches ; of a 
cow that breaks the fences; and of a boy that is 
generally thievish, inclined to pilfer, mischievous 
and troublesome. From the verb to scathe. 

SCALLION [skal'yun] sb. The name given to the poor and 
weakly plants in an onion bed, which are thinned out 
to make room for the growth of better ones. 

SCARCEY [skai-rsi] adj. Scarce. 

SCAREFUL [skai-rfl] adj. Frightful ; that which tends to 

SCEDDLE [sked'l] adj. Another form of Scaddle. 

SCHOAT [shoat] sb. A kneading trough. 

SCIMMINGER [skinrinjur] sb. A piece of counterfeit money. 

SCITHERS [sith-urz] sb. Scissors. 

SCITTLE [sit-1] adj. Skittish. 

SCOASE [skoa'us] vb. To exchange. 
" I'll scoase horses with you." 

SCOPPEL [skop-ul] sb. A broad wooden shovel used by 
the threshers. (See Scubbit, which is the word used 
in East Kent.) 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 137 

SCORF [skau-f] vb. To gobble ; eat greedily. (See also 

"You've scorfed up all the meat purty quick, ain't 

SCORSE [pron.' skoa-us] vb. To exchange. (See Scoase.} 

SCORE, sb. In East Kent oxen and pigs are sold by the 
score ; sheep and calves by the stone of 8-lbs. 

Score was properly a cut ; hence, twenty was denoted 
by a long cut on a notched stick. 

SCOTCHEN, sb. A badge ; shortened from escutcheon. 

" For ij dosen skotchens of lede for the poore people 
of the citie [of Canterbury], that they myght be knowen 
from other straunge beggars." 
Historical MSS. Commission, Appendix to Ninth Report, 1550. 

SCOURGE [skurj] vb. To sweep with a besom. 

SCOUT [skou-t] sb. A kneading trough. Also called a 

SCRAN [skran] sb. A snack of food ; the refreshment that 
labourers take with them into the fields. 

" What scran have ye got ? " 

SCRAP [skrap] vb. To fight; restricted to the encounters 
between children. 

SCRAPS [skraps] sb. Herrings which, being broken, cannot 
be hung up by their heads to dry. Also called tie-tails. 

SCRATCH [skrach] (i) vb. To do anything in a hurried, 
hasty, scrambling way. 

" I scratched out of bed and struck a light." 

SCRATCH [skrach] (2) sb. A rough pronged prop, used to 
support a clothes' line ; a pole with a natural fork at 
the end of it. An older form of the word Crutch. 

138 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

SCRATCH ALONG [skrach ulong] vb. To pull through hard 

" Times is bad, but I just manage somehows to keep 
scratching along." 

SCREECH-OWL [skreech-oul] sb. The common swift. 
Cypsellus apus. Sittingbourne. 

SCROOCH [skrooch] vb. To make a dull, scraping noise. 
SCROW [skroa] sb. A cross, peevish, ill-natured person. 

SCROUGE [skrou-j], SCROOGE [skrooj] vb. To squeeze or 
crowd ; to push rudely in a crowd. 

" An dare we strain'd an' stared an' blous'd, 

An tried to get away ; 
But more we strain'd de more dey scroug'd 
An sung out, ' Give 'em play.' " 

Dick and Sat, st. 71. 

SCRUMP [skrump] sb. A stunted, badly-grown apple ; a 
withered, shrivelled, undersized person. North Kent. 

" This orchard isn't worth much, one sieve out of 
every four 'ull be scrumps." 

" The old gen'lman does look a little scrump y doant 
he ? " 

SCRUNCH [skrunch] vb. To crunch. 

SCRY [skraai and skrei] sb. A large standing sieve, against 
which, when it is set up at an angle on the barn floor, 
the corn is thrown with a scubbit to clean and sift it. 
It is used also for sifting coal. 

SCUBBIT [skub-it] sb. A wooden shovel. That form of 
scubbit now used by maltsters and hop driers has a 
short handle ; that formerly used by farmers for 
moving corn on the barn floor, prior to the intro- 
duction of the threshing machine, had a long handle. 

SCUFFLING [skuf-ling] adj. A scuffling apron is one to 
do hard or dirty work in. 

SCULCH [skulsh], SCULTCH [skulch] sb. Rubbish ; trash. 
Generally used with reference to the unwholesome 
things children delight to eat. A variant of Culch. 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 139 

SCUPPER [skup-ur] sb. A scoop or scooper. 

SCUT [skutj sb. The tail of a hare or rabbit. 

SCUTCHEL [skuch-ul] sb. Rubbish. (See also Scultch^) 

SEA COB [see kob] sb. A sea gull. 

SEA GRAPES, sb. pi. The eggs of the cuttle-fish. 

SEA KITTY [see kiH] sb. A sea gull. 

SEAM [seem] (i) sb. Hog's lard. 

SEAM [seem], SEME (2) sb. A sack of eight bushels is 
now called a seam, because that quantity forms a 
horse-load, which is the proper and original mean- 
ing of seam. The word is used in Domesday Book. 

" To Mr. Eugh, a twelve seames of wheate at twenty 
shillings the seame. ... It. vnto Mr. Eugh, a twenty 
seames of peas and tears [i.e., tares] at thirteene the 
seame." Boteler MS. Account Books. 

SEA-NETTLES, sb. Jelly-fish. Dover. 
SEA SNAIL [see snarl] sb. A periwinkle. 

SEARSE [seers] vb. To strain or shift, as through a sieve 
or strainer. 

SEASON [see-zn] vb. To sow corn. Also said of the 
condition of land for sowing. 

" I'm going wheat seasoning to-day/' 

" That Dover fill's nice and plump now after the 
rain. We shall get a season." 

SEA STARCH, sb. Jelly-fish. Dover. 

SEA-WAUR [see-waur] sb. The wrack, ore or sea weed 
used largely in the Island of Thanet and elsewhere, 
for making maxhills. 

SECOND-MAN, sb. Amongst farm servants there is a 
regular gradation of ranks; the first -man is the 
wagoner, par eminence, who has charge of the first 

140 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

team and is assisted by his " mate ; " the second-man 
has charge of the second team and is assisted by his 
" mate," and so on ; whilst there is generally a 
" yard man/' whose duty it is to look after the stock 
in the yard, and an odd man whose title, "all work/' 
describes his duties. When a number of men are 
going along the road with their respective teams 
the first man will be found leading, the second man 
next, and so on ; each walking with his horses. 

SEE [see] pt. /., SEED [see-d, sid] vb. Saw. 
" I see him at Canterbury yesterday." 

SEED-CORD [seed--kord], SEED-KOD [seed--kod] (Boteler 
MS. Account Book, 1653) sb. A box or basket used 
by the sower for holding the seed, and suspended from 
his neck by a cord or strap. It was an instrument of 
husbandry in common use before the invention of the 
seed drill, and generally contained some five or six 
gallons of seed. 

SEED-LIP [seed-lip] sb. The wooden box, fitting the shape 
of the body in which the sower carries his seed. (See 

SEEMING [see-ming], SEEMINGLY [see-mingli] adv. 

SEEN [seen] sb. A cow's teat. 

SELYNGE [seHnj] sb. Toll ; custom ; tribute. 

" The Prior of Christ Church, Canterbury . . . used 
to take in the stream of the water or river Stoure, before 
the mouth of the said Flete, a certain custom which 
was called Selynge, of every little boat which came 
to an anchor before the mouth of the said Flete." 

Lewis, p. 78. 

The parish of Sellindge, near Hythe, probably takes 
its name from some such ancient payment. 

SEN [sen] vb. pp. Seen. 

" Have ye sen our Bill anywheres ? " 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 141 

SENGREEN [sin-grin] sb. Houseleek. Sempervivum tectorum. 
Anglo-Saxon singrene, ever-green ; the Anglo-Saxon 
prefix sin, means " ever." 

SENSE [sen-s] adv. phr. Used with the negative to mean 
"Nothing to signify;" anything inadequately or 
faultily done. 

" It don't rain, not no sense" i.e., there is no rain to 
speak of. 

SEP [sep] sb. The secretion which gathers in the corners 
of the eyes during sleep. Allied to sap. Eastry. 

SERE [seer] adj. Dry, as distinct from green wood ; 
not withered, as sometimes explained. The term is 
generally applied to firewood. 

" They say that Muster Goodyer has a lot of good 
sere fagots to sell." (See Sare.} 

SERVER [survr] sb. Where there are no wells, as in the 
Weald of Kent, the pond that serves the house is 
called the server, to distinguish it from the horse- 

SESS, SESSE [ses] sb. A levy ; a tax ; a rate ; an assessment. 

1648-1652. "It. to John Augustine, i8s., for a 
church sesse. ... It. to Mr. Paramore, 175. and 6d., 
for a sesse to y e poore." Boteler MS. Account Book. 

SESSIONS [sesh-nz] sb. A disturbance ; a fuss. 

" There's goin' to be middlin' sessions over this here 
Jubilee, seemin'ly." 

SET [set] (i) vb. To sit; as, " I was setting in my chair." 

SET [set] (2) sb. A division in a hop-garden for^picking, 
containing 24 hills. 

SET [set] (3) adj. Firm ; fixed in purpose ; obstinate. 

" He's terrible set in his ways, there ain't no turning 
an 'im." 

142 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

SET-OUT [set-out] sb. A great fuss and disturbance; a 
grand display ; an event causing excitement and talk. 

" There was a grand set-out at the wedding." 

SET UP, vb. A word expressing movement of several 
kinds, e.g., a man " Sets up a trap for vermin/' where 
they would ordinarily say, " Sets a trap ; " a horse sets 
up, i.e.) he jibs and rears ; whilst the direction to a 
coachman, "Set up a little," means, that he is to 
drive on a yard or two and then stop. 

SEVEN-WHISTLERS, sb. The note of the curlew, heard at 
night, is called by the fishermen the seven -whistlers. 

" I never thinks any good of them, there's always 
an accident when they comes. I heard 'em once one 
dark night last winter. They come over our heads 
all of a sudden, singing, ' Ewe-ewe,' and the men 
in the boat wanted to turn back. It came on to rain 
and blow soon afterwards, and was an awful night, 
sir; and, sure enough, before morning a boat was 
upset and seven poor fellows drowned. I knows 
what makes the noise, sir; it's them long-billed 
curlews ; but I never likes to hear them." 

SEW [soo] (i) adj. Dry. " To go sew," i.e., to go dry ; 
spoken of a cow. 

SEW [soo] (2) vb. To dry ; to drain ; as, " To sew a pond," 
i.e., to drain it and make it dry. 

SEWELLS [seu-elz] sb. pi. Feathers tied on a string which 
is stretched across a part of a park to prevent the deer 
from passing. 

SHADDER [shad-ur], SHATTER [shat-ur] vb. To be afraid of. 

SHAGGED [shag- id] adj. Fatigued ; fagged ; tired out. 
" An' I was deadly shagged? Dick and Sal, st. 48. 

SHALE [shail] sb. The mesh of a fishing-net. 

SHALINGS [shai-lingz] or SH ALES' s [prob. shailz] sb. pi. 
Tenements to which no land belonged. Lewis, 75. 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 143 

SHATTER [shat-ur] (\}vb. To scatter; blow about; sprinkle. 

" Shatter your leaves before the mellowing year." 

Milton, Lycidas, 5. 

SHATTER [shat'ur] (2) sb. A sprinkling, generally of rain. 

" We've had quite a nice little shatter of rain." 
" There'll be a middlin' shatter of hops." 

SHATTER (3) vb. To rain slightly. 
SHAUL [shau-1] (i) adj. Shallow; shoal. 

SHAUL [shau-1], SHOWLE [shou-1] (2) sb. A wooden tub 
with sloping sides. The shaul was of two kinds, viz. 
(i) The kneadinge showle, used for kneading bread, 
generally made of oak, and standing on four legs, 
commonly seen in better class cottages. Of which 
we find mention in the Boteler Inventories "Ite. in 
the bunting house one bunting hutch, two kneding 
showles, a meale tub w th other lumber ther, prized at 
vj s . viij d ." Memorials of E as try, p. 226. And 2nd, 
the washing shaul, made of common wood, without 

SHAW [shau] sb. A small hanging wood ; a small copse ; 
a narrow plantation dividing two fields. 

SHAVE [shaiv] sb. Corrupted from shaw, a wood that 
encompasses a close ; a small copse of wood by a 
field-side. (See also Carvet^] 

SHAY [shaai] (i) adj. Pale; faint-coloured. 

" This here ink seems terr'ble shay, somehows." 

SHAY [shaai] (2) sb. A shadow ; dim or faint glimpse of 
a thing ; a general likeness or resemblance. 

" I caught a shay of 'im as he was runnin' out of 
the orchard, and dunno' as I shaant tark to 'im next 
time I gets along-side an 'im." 

SHE [shee] sb. In phrase, "A regular old she;" a term 
of contempt for anything that is poor, bad or worth- 
less ; often applied to a very bad ball at cricket. 

144 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

SHEAD [sheed] 5$. A rough pole of wood. 
" Sheads for poles." 

SHEAR [sheer] sb. A spear; thus they speak of an eel-shear. 
SHEAT [sheet] sb. A young hog of the first year. 

"John Godfrey, of Lidd, in his will, 1572, gave his 
wife one sowe, two sheetes." 

SHEEL [sheei], SHEAL, vb. To peel; scale off; used of 
the scales or flakes of skin peeling off a person who 
has been ill of measles, scarlet fever, &c. Allied to 
scale, shell ; and used in the sense of shell in Bar grave 
MS. Diary > 1645 : "Before they come to the press the 
walnuts are first shealed, then dryed in the sunne." 

'SHEEN [shee-n] sb. Machine. 

" Or like de stra dat clutters out, 
De 'sheen a thrashing earn." Dick and Sal, st. 77. 

SHEEP-GATE [ship-gait] sb. A hurdle with bars. 

SHEEP'S TREDDLES [shipz tred-lz] sb. pi. The droppings 
of sheep. 

" There's no better dressing for a field than sheep's 

SHEER [shee-r] adj. Bright ; pure ; clear ; bare. Thus, 
it is applied to the bright, glassy appearance of the 
skin which forms over a wound ; or to the appear- 
ance of the stars, as an old man once told me, " When 
they look so very bright and sheer there will be rain." 

SHEERES [sheerz], SHIRES [sheirz] sb. pi. All parts of 
the world, except Kent, Sussex or Surrey. A person 
coming into Kent from any county beyond London, is 
said to " Come out of the sheer es ; " or, if a person is 
spoken of as living in any other part of England, they 
say, " He's living down in the sheeres som' 'ere's." 

SHEER-MOUSE [shee-r-mous] sb. A field or garden mouse. 
Probably a mere variation from shrew-mouse. 

SHEER- WAY [shee-r-wai] sb. A bridle-way through grounds 
otherwise private. So Lewis writes it, Shire-way, as a 
way separate and divided from the common road or 
open highway. 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 145 

SHELL-FIRE [shel-feir] sb. The phosphorescence from 
decayed straw or touchwood, &c., sometimes seen in 
farmyards. (See Fairy sparks?) 

SHENT, SHUNT, vb. To chide; reprove; reproach. 

"Do you hear how we are shent for keeping your 
greatness back ? " Coriolanus, act v. sc. 3. 

SHEPPEY [shep-i], sheep-island, sb. The inhabitants of 
the isle at the mouth of the Thames call themselves 
"sons of Sheppey" and speak of crossing the Swale 
on to the main land, as " going into England ;" whilst 
those who live in the marshes call the higher parts 
of Sheppey, the Island, as indeed it once was, being 
one of the three isles of Sheppey. 

SHLDE [sheid], SHYDE, sb. A long slip of wood; a plank; 
a thin board, &c. 

1566. " For a tall shyde and nayle for the same 
house, j d ." Accounts of St. Dunstarts, Canterbury. 

SHIFT [shift] (i) vb. To divide land into two or more 
equal parts. 

SHIFT [shift] (2) sb. A division of land. (See above.) 

SHIM [shim] sb. A horse-hoe, used for lightly tilling the 
land between the rows of peas, beans, hops, &c. 

SHINGLE [shing-1] sb. A piece of seasoned oak about 12 
inches long by 3 inches wide, \ inch in thickness ; 
used in covering buildings, and especially for church 
spires in parts of the country where wood was 
plentiful, as in the Weald of Kent. 

SHINGLER [shing-lur] sb. A man who puts on shingles ; 
a wood-tiler. 

In the Parish Book which contains the Church- 
wardens' Accounts of the Parish of Biddenden, we 
find the following entries : 

March, 1597, "To Abraham Stedman, for 
nayles for the shingler to use about the 
shingling of the church at Biddenden, at 
iiij d . the hundred ..... 28 

146 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

August, 1600, "To the shingler for 2000 

shingles at i6s. the thousand . . 32 o 

To him for the laying of the two thousands 1 2 4 

July, 1603, " It m payde to Newman the 
shingler for 2000 [?] of shingles . .280 

It may be noted that one of the Editors has before 
him a shingler 's bill for repairing a church spire in the 
present year (1887), in which the following items will 
shew that the prices have " riz " considerably in 300 
years : 

2of-lbs. copper nails, at is. yd. . . .1128 
150 new shingles, at id. . . . .192 
Time, 14^ days, at 48. ; 12 \ days, at 55. . 6 o 6 

SHINING STICK [shei-ning stik] sb. A thin peeled stick, 
formerly carried by farm labourers at statute fairs, 
to shew that they sought work for the coming year. 

" He sed dere was a teejus fair 

Dat lasted for a wick ; 
An all de ploughmen dat went dare 
Must car dair shining stick" 

Dick and Sal, st. 8. 

SHINY-BUG, sb. The glow-worm. (See also Bug.} 

SHIP [ship] sb. pi. sheep. The word sheep must have 
been pronounced in this way in Shakespeare's time, 
as we see from the following : 

"Twenty to one, then, he is shipped already, 
And I have play'd the sheep [pronounced ship] in loving him." 

Two Gentlemen of Verona, act i. sc. i. 

SHIP-GATE [ship'gait]. A sheep-gate or moveable hurdle 
in a fence. 

SHIRE-WAY [sheir-waij sb. A bridle-way. (See Sheer- 

SHOAL-IN, vb. To pick sides at cricket or any game. 

" After the match, they had a shoal-in among their- 

SHOAT [shoa-t], SCOUT [skout] sb. A kneading trough. 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 147 

SHOAVE [shoav] sb. A kind of fork used to gather up 
oats when cut. 

SHOCK [shok] sb. A sheaf of corn. 

" I see that the wind has blowed down some shocks 
in that field of oats." 

SHOE-MONEY, sb. When strangers pass through a hop- 
garden their shoes are wiped with a bundle of hops, 
and they are expected to pay their footing, under 
penalty of being put into the basket. The money 
so collected is called shoe-money, and is spent on 
bread and cheese and ale, which are consumed on 
the ground the last day of hopping. The custom of 
wiping the shoes of passers-by is also practised in 
the cherry orchards, in the neighbourhood of Faver- 
sham and Sittingbourne. 

SHOOLER [shoo-lr] sb. A beggar. 

SHOOLING [shoo-ling] part. Begging. " To go a shooting" 

SHOOT [shoot] sb. A young pig of the first year. (See 

SHOP-GOODS, sb. pi. Goods purchased at a shop, especially 

SHORE [shoar] (i) sb. A prop ; a strut ; a support. 

" M.E. schore Icel. skorda, a prop ; stay ; especially 
under a boat .... so called, because shorn or cut off 
of a suitable length." 

SHORN BUG [shorn- bug], SHARN BUG [sharn- bug] sb. 
The stag beetle. (See also May bug, &c.) 

SHORT-WORK [shaut-wurk] sb. Work in odd corners of 
fields which does not come in long straight furrows. 

SHOT [shot] sb. A handful of hemp. 

SHOT-FARE [shot-fair] sb. The mackerel season, which is 
the first of the two seasons of the home fishery. It 
commonly commences about the beginning of May, 
when the sowing of barley is ended. 

148 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

SHOT-NET [shot-net] sb. A mackerel net. 

SHOTTEN [shot-n] adj. " The proprietor of the Folkestone 
hang told me that at the beginning of the season all 
the fish have roes; towards the end they are all 
shorten, i.e., they have no roes/' F. Buckland. 

SHOTVER-MEN [shot-vur-men] sb. pi. The mackerel fishers 
at Dover ; whose nets are called shot-nets. 

There is an old saying 

" A #orth-east wind in May 
Makes the shotver-men a prey," 

The N.E. wind being considered favourable for fishing. 

SHOUL [shou-1] sb. A shovel (not to be confounded with 

SHOUN [shou-n] vb. Shone. 

" And glory shoun araound." 

SHOWS FOR [shoa-z fur] vb. It looks like. 
" It shows for rain/' 

SHOY [shoi] adj. Weakly ; shy of bearing ; used of plants 
and trees. 

SHRAPE [shraip] vb. To scold or rate a dog. 
SHREAP [shreep], SHRIP [shrip] vb. To chide ; scold. 

SHRIVE [shreiv] vb. To clear the small branches from 
the trunk of a tree. 

" Those elm-trees want shriving" 

SHROCKLED [shrokl-d], SHOCKLED [shokl-d] //. Shrunk ; 
shrivelled ; wrinkled ; puckered up ; withered. 

"A face like a shrockled apple." 
SHRUGGLE [shrug-1] vb. To shrug the shoulders. 

SHUCK [shuk] (i) sb. A husk or shell ; as bean shucks, i.e., 
bean shells. (See also Huck.] It is sometimes used as 
a contemptuous expression, as, "A regular old shuck." 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 149 

SHUCK [shuk] (2) vb. To shell peas, beans, &c. 

SHUCK [shuk] (3) vb. To do things in a restless, hurried 
way, as, e.g., to shuck about. 

SHUCKISH [shuk'ish] adj. Shifty; unreliable; uncertain; 

" Looks as though we be going to have a lot of this 
shuckish weather." 

SHUCKLE [shuk-1] vb. To shuffle along, or slink along, in 
walking. (See Shuck.} 

SHUT [shut] (i) sb. A young pig that has done sucking. 
(See Sheet.} 

SHUT [shut] (2) vb. To do ; to manage. 

SHUT-OF [shut-of] vb. To rid oneself of; to drive away. 
" I lay you wun't get shut-of him in a hurry/' 

SHUT-OUT [shut-out] phrase. Exceedingly cold. 
"You look quite shut-out." 

SICKLE [sik-1] sb. A curved hook for cutting corn. The 
sickle or wheat-hook [whit-uok] had a toothed blade, 
but as it became useless when the teeth broke away, 
the reaping-hook [rip-ing'-uok], with a plain cutting 
edge, took its place, only to give way in its turn to 
the scythe, with a cradle on it. 

SIESIN [see-zin] sb. Yeast ; barm. (See Sizzing.} 

SIEVE [siv] sb. A measure of cherries, containing a 
bushel, 56-lb. In West Kent, sieve and half-sieve are 
equivalent to bushel and half-bushel. 

SIFTER [sift-ur] sb. A fire shovel. 
SlG [sig] sb. Urine. 

SIGHT [seit] sb. A great number or quantity. 

" There was a sight of apples lying on the ground." 

150 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

SIMPLE [simp'l] adj. Silly ; foolish ; stupid ; hard to 

"Doan't be so simple, but come along dreckly 

SiMSON [sinrsun] sb. The common groundsel. Senecio 

SIN [sin] adv. Since. 

" Knowing his voice, although not heard long sin!' 

Faerie Queen, b. 6. cxi. xliv. 

SINDER [sind'ur] vb. To settle or separate the lees or 
dregs of liquor. 

SINDERS [sind-urzj adv. Asunder. 

SlPlD [sip'id] adj. Insipid. 

" I calls dis here claret wine terr'ble sipid stuff." 
SISSLE [sis*l], SISSLING [sis'ling] vb. To hiss or splutter. 

" De old kettle sissies, 'twun't be long before 'tis tea- 
time, I reckon." 

SIVER [sei-vur] sb. A boat load of whitings. Folkestone. 

SIZING [sei-zing] sb. A game with cards, called "Jack 
running for sizing." 

SIZZING [siz-ing] sb. Yeast, or barm ; so called from the 
sound made by beer or ale in working. 

SKARMISH [skaam-ish] sb. A fight ; row ; bit of horse- 

SKEER'D [skee*rd] adj. Frightened. 

" Dractly dere's ever so liddle bit of a skirmish he's 
reglur skeer'd, he is." 

SKENT [skent] vb. To look askant ; to scowl. 

SKEVALMEN [skevulmen] sb. pi. From scuffle, a shovel. 
Men who cleaned out the creek at Faversham were so 
called in the town records of the seventeenth century. 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. \ 5 1 

SKILLET [skil-it] sb. A stewpan or pipkin. 

SKIP- JACK [skip-jak] sb. pi. The sand-hopper. Talitrm 
saltator. Folkestone. 

SKIVER [skivurj sb. A skewer. In East Kent, in winter 
time, men come round, cut the long sharp thorns from 
the thorn bushes, then peel, bleach and dry them, and 
sell them to the butchers to use in affixing tickets to 
their meat. 

SKUT [skut] vb. To crouch down. 

SLAB [slab] sb. A rough plank ; the outside cut of a tree 
when sawn up. 

SLACK [slak] adj. Underdressed ; underdone ; insuffi- 
ciently cooked ; applied to meat not cooked enough, 
or bread insufficiently baked. 

" The bread is very slack to-day." 

SLAGGER [slag-ur] vb. To slacken speed ; to walk lame ; 
to limp. 

" An so we stagger* d den ya know, 

An gaap't an stared about ; 
To see de houses all a row, 

An signs a-hanging out." Dick and Sal, st. 32. 

SLANT [slan-t], SLAINT [slai-nt] vb. To miscarry ; to give 
premature birth ; to slip or drop a calf before the proper 
time. In Eastry it is pronounced slaint. 

SLANK [slangk] sb. A slope or declivity. 

SLAPPY [slap-i] adj. Slippery through wet. The form 
sloppy, meaning wet but not slippery, is common 

SLATS [slat's] sb. pL Thin ; flat ; unfilled pea-pods. 

SLAY- WATTLE [slai-wat-1] sb. A hurdle made of narrow 

SLICK [slik] adj. Slippery. 

SLIMMUCKS [slinruks] sb. A slinking fellow. 

152 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

SLIPPER [slip*ur] (i) sb. A curious eel-like fish, with an 
ugly pert-looking head, and frill down the back (like 
the frill to an old beau's dining-out shirt), and a 
spotted and exceedingly slimy body. So called at 
Herne Bay, because it slips from the hand so easily. 
(See Life of Frank Buckland, p. 171.) 

SLIPPER [slip-ur] (2) sb. The small sole. Folkestone. 

SLIVER [slivur] (i) sb. A thin piece of split wood; a 
slice ; a stiff shaving ; a splinter. Allied to Slice, 
from Slit. Anglo-Saxon slefan, to cleave. 

" There, on the pendent boughs her coronet weeds 
Clambering to hang, an envious sliver broke." 

Hamlet, act iv. sc. 7. 
SLIVER [slivur] (2) vb. To slice ; cut off a thin portion. 

SLOBBED [slob-d] pp. Slopped; spilt. 

SLOP [slop] sb. A short, round smock frock, of coarse 
materials, slipped over the head, and worn by work- 
men over their other clothes. 

SLORRY [slorr'i] sb. A slow-worm, or a blind worm. 

SLOSH [slosh], SLUSH [slush] sb. Dirty water ; a muddy 
wash ; liquid mud. They are both formed from the 
sound, hence slosh represents rather " a muddy 
wash/' which makes the louder noise when splashed 
about, and slushy "liquid mud," which makes a duller 

SLOY-WORM [sloi-wurm] sb. A slow- worm. Anguisfragilis. 
(See Slorry.} 

SLUB [slub] sb. A slimy wash ; liquid mud. 

Lord Hale, in his work, De Jure Mart's et Brachio- 
rum Ejusdem, pt. i. c. 7., alludes to "The jus alluvionis, 
which is an increase of land by the projection of the 
sea, casting and adding sand and slub to the adjoin- 
ing land whereby it is increased, and for the most part 
by insensible degrees." 

SLURRY [slurr'i] sb. Wet, sloppy mud. 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 153 

SLUTHERS [sluth-urz], SLUTTERS [slut-urz] sb. pi. Jelly- 
fish ; also called water-galls, miller' s-eyes and sea- 

SMAAMER [smaa'mur] sb. A knock. 

SMACK-SMOOTH [smak-smoodh] adv. Flat ; smooth ; level 
with the ground. 

" The old squire had the shaw cut down smack- 

SMART, adj. Considerable. 

" I reckon it'll cost him a smart penny before he's 

SMICKERY [smik*ur'i] adj. Uneven ; said of a thread 
when it is spun. 

SMIRK [smurk] vb. To get the creases out of linen, that 
it may be more easily folded up. 

" Oh ! give it a smirking, and you'll get it smooth." 
SMITHERS [smidh-urz] sb. pi. Shivers, or splinters. 
SMOULT [smoa-lt] adj. Hot; sultry. 
SMUG [smug] vb. To steal. 

SNAG [pron. snag ; snaig ; sneg. East Kenf] sb. A name 
applied to all the common species of garden-snails, but 
especially to the Helix aspersa. (Anglo-Saxon snceg-el ; 
snag is a variant of snake, a creeping thing.) In West 
Kent the word is applied to a slug, whilst snails are 
called shell-snags. 

SNAGGLE [snag'l] vb. To hack, or carve meat badly ; to 

SNATAGOG [snatugog] sb. A yewberry. 

SNEAD [sneed] sb. The long handle or bat of a scythe. 
West Kent. 

The family of Sneyd, in Staffordshire, bear a scythe 
in their arms. 

154 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

SNIGGER [snig-ur] vb. To cut roughly, or unevenly. 
SNIRK [snurk] vb. To dry; to wither. 

"You had better carry your hay or it will all be 
snirked up, sure as you're alive." 

SNIRKING [smirk-in] sb. Anything withered. 
" As dry as a snirking." 

SNOB [snob] sb. A cobbler. By no means a term of 

SNODGOG [snod-gog] sb. A snodberry, or yewberry ; just 
as a goosegog is a gooseberry. 

SNOODS [snoodz, or snuodz] sb. pi. Fishing lines. 

The lines laid for ness-congers are seventy-five 
fathoms long, and on each line are attached, at right 
angles, other smaller lines called the snoods ; twenty- 
three snoods to each line, each snood nine feet long. 

SNYING [snering] adj. Bent ; twisted ; curved. This 
word is generally applied to timber. 

So [soa'] inter j. of correction or assent. Thus it is used 
in the way of correction, " Open the door, the window 
so" i.e., open the door, I mean the window. It is also 
used for assent, e.g., " Would you like some drink ? " 
" I would so." 

SOB [sob] vb. To soak, or wet thoroughly. 

" The cloth what we used to wipe up the rain what 
come in under the door is all sobbed with the wet." 

SOCK [sok] (i) so. A pet brought up by hand ; a shy 
child that clings to its nurse, and loves to be fondled. 

SOCK [sok] (2) vb. To shroud or wrap a corpse in grave- 
clothes ; to sew a body in its winding sheet. 

1591. " Paid for a sheet to sock a poor woman that 
died at Byneons, is. 6d." Records of Faversham. 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 155 

1643. "Bought 2 ells of canvass to sock Margaret 
Abby in, o 2 6." 

1668. "For Dorothy Blanchet's funeral, for laying 
her forth and socking, o 08 o." 

Overseers' Accounts^ Holy Cross, Canterbury. 

SOCK-LAMB [sok-lam] sb. A pet-lamb brought up by hand. 
SOCKLE [sok-lj vb. To suckle. 

SOIL [soii] (i) sb. Filth and dirt in corn; as the seeds of 
several kinds of weeds and the like. 

SOIL [soi-1] (2) vb. To scour or purge. The use of green 
meat as a purge gives rise to this old East Kent 

" King Grin (i.e., green), 
Better than all medcin'." 

SOLE [soal] sb. A pond, or pool of water. Lewis says, 
" A dirty pond of standing water ; " and this it pro- 
bably was in its original signification, being derived 
from Anglo-Saxon sol, mud, mire (whence E. vb. 
sully], allied to the Danish word sol, and German 
suhle, mire. It enters into the name of several little 
places where ponds exist, e.g., BarnW^, Butts^, 
Maidens<9/, Sole-street, &c. The Will of Jno. Frank- 
lyn, Rector of Ickham, describes property as being 
" Besyde the wateringe sole in thend [i.e., the end] 
of Yckhame-streete." 

SOME'RS [sunrurz] adj. Somewheres, for somewhere. 

" Direckly ye be back-turned, he'll be off some'rs 
or 'nother." 

SOME-ONE-TIME, adv. Now and then. 

" 'Taint very often as I goos to Feversham, or 
Lunnon, or any such place, but some-one-time I goos 
when I be forced to it." 

SONNIE [surri] sb. A kindly appellative for any boy. 

" Come along sonnie, you and me '11 pick up them 
taturs now 'tis fine and dry." 

156 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

Soss [sos] (i) sb. A mess. If anyone mixes several 
slops, or makes any place wet and dirty, we say in 
Kent, "He makes a soss." 

Soss [sos] (2) vb., SOSSEL [sos-ul] vb. To mix slops, or 
pour tea backwards and forwards between the cup 
and the saucer. 

" When we stopped at staashun, dere warn't but 
three minuts to spare, but howsumdever, my missus 
she was forced to have a cup o' tea, she was, and 
she sossed it too and thro middlin', I can tell ye, for 
she was bound to swaller it somehows." 

SOTLY [sot-li] adv. Softly. 

Sow BREAD [sou-bred] sb. The sowthistle, or milkthistle. 
Sonchus oleraceus. 

SOWSE-TUB [sous-tub] sb. A tub for pickling meat. 

SPADDLE [spad*l] vb. To make a dirt or litter ; to shuffle 
in walking. 

SPALT [spau'lt or spolt] adj. Heedless ; impudent. 

SPALTER [spolt'ur] vb. To split up and break away, as 
the underside of a branch when it is partially sawn 
or cut through, and then allowed to come down by 
its own weight. (See Spolt.} 

SPAN [span] vb. To fetter a horse. 

SPANDLE [spand'l] vb. To leave marks of wet feet on 
the floor like a dog. The Sussex word is spannel. 

SPANNER [span*ur] sb. A wrench; a screw-nut. 

" Hav' ye sin my spanner anywheres about ? " " Yis, 
I seed it in the barn jest now." 

SPANISH [span-ish] sb. Liquorice. 

" I took some Spanish, but my cough is still terrible 
bad, surely/' 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 157 

SPARR [spar'] sb. The common house-sparrow; as, arr 
for arrow, barr for barrow. 

" Who killed cock-robin ? 
I said the sparr, 
With my bow and arr." 

SPAT [spat] sb. A knock ; a blow. 

" He ain't no ways a bad boy ; if you gives him a 
middlin' spat otherwhile, he'll do very well." 

SPATS [spats] sb. pi. Gaiters, as though worn to prevent 
the spattering of mud. 

SPEAN [speen] sb. (See Speen.} (i.) The teat of an animal. 
(ii.) The tooth or spike of a fork or prong. 

SPEAR [spee-r] (i) sb. A blade of grass, or fresh young 
shoot or sprout of any kind. 

SPEAR (2) vb. To sprout. 

" The acorns are beginning to spear." (See Brut.} 

SPEAR [spee-r] (3) vb. To remove the growing shoots of 

" Mas' Chuck's, he ain't got such a terr'ble good 
sample of taturs as common ; by what I can see, 
'twill take him more time to spear 'em dan what 
'twill to dig 'em up." 

SPECK [spek] sb. The iron tip or toe of a workman's boot. 
SPEEN [spee-n]. (See Spean.) 

SPEER-WORTY [spee-rwurH] adj. The liver of a rotten 
sheep when it is full of white knots, is said to be speer- 
worty. There is a herb called speer-wort [Rangniculus 
lingua, great spear-wort ; R. flammula, lesser spear- 
wort], which is supposed to produce this disorder of 
the liver, and from thence it has its name. 

SPILLED [spil-d] pp. Spoilt. And so the proverb, " Better 
one house filled than two spill' d." 

158 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

SPILT [spil-t] vb. Spoilt. 

" I are goin' to git a new hat ; this fell into a pail of 
fleet-milk that I was giving to the hogs and it got spilt." 

SPINDLE [spin-dl] sb. The piece of iron which supports 
the wreest (or rest) of a turn-wreest plough. (See 
Under spindled.} 

SPIT [spit] (i) sb. A double or counterpart. 
" He's the very spit of his brother." 

SPIT (2) sb. The depth of soil turned up by a spade or 
other tool in digging. 

"The mould is so shallow that it is scarce a spit 

SPITS [spit's] sb. pi. Pieces of pine -wood, about .the 
length and thickness of a common walking-stick, on 
which the herrings are dried. (See Herring-hang and 


SPLASH [splash] vb. To make a hedge by nearly severing 
the live wood at the bottom, and then interweaving it 
between the stakes : it shoots out in the spring and 
makes a thick fence. 

SPLUT [splut] vb. Past of split. 

" It was splut when I seed it." 

SPLUTHER [spludh-ur] vb. To sputter. 

SPOLT [spol-t]. To break. 

" A terr'ble gurt limb spolted off that old tree furder 
een de laane las' night." (See Spalter.} 

SPONG [spong] vb. To sew ; to mend. 

" Come here and let me spong that slit in your 

SPONSIBLE [spons-ibl] adj. Responsible; reliable. 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 159 

SPOTTY [spot-i] adj. Here and there in places ; uneven ; 
scattered ; uncertain ; variable. Said of a thin crop. 

"The beans look middlin' spotty this year." 

SPRAT-LOON [sprat-loon] sb. The red-throated diver ; a 
bird common on the Kentish salt waters. North Kent. 

SPREAD-BAT [spred-bat] sb. The bat or stick used for 
keeping the traces of a plough-horse apart. 

SPRING, sb. A young wood ; the undergrowth of wood 
from two to four years old. 

SPRING-SHAW [spring-shau] sb. A strip of the young 
undergrowth of wood, from two to three rods wide. 

SPROCKET [sprok-it] sb. A projecting piece often put on 
at the bottom or foot of a rafter to throw the water off. 

1536. "Payed for makyng sproketts and a grunsyll 
at Arnoldis . . . ij d ." 

MS. Accounts, St. Johris Hospital, Canterbury. 

SPROG [sprog] sb. A forked sprig of a tree. Sittingbourne. 
SPROLLUCKS [sprol'uks] sb. One who sprawls out his feet. 
SPRONKY [spronk'i] adj. Having many roots. 

SPRY [sprei] ( i ) sb. A broom for sweeping the barn-floor ; 
formerly used in the threshing of corn. (See also Frail, 
Scubbit y Toff-sieve.} Allied to sprig. 

SPRY [sprei] (2) adj. Smart ; brisk ; quick. 

SPRY -FOOT [sprei -fuot], SPRAY -FOOT [sprai-fuot] adj. 
Splay foot. 

SPRY- WOOD [sprei-wuod] sb. Small wood ; spray-wood. 
SPUD [spud] (i) sb. A garden tool for getting up weeds. 
SPUD [spud] (2) vb. To get up weeds with a spud. 

SPUR-FISH [spur-fish] sb. The pike dog-fish. Spinax 
acanthias. Folkestone. 

160 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

SQUAB [skwob] (i) sb. A pillow; a cushion; especially 
the long under-cushion of a sofa. 

Lewis, p. 158, in his account of the way in which 
Mrs. Sarah Petit laid out ^146 towards the ornament- 
ing of the parish church of S. John Baptist, Thanet, 

" Cushions or squabs to kneel on, O5 1 , o8 s . oo d ." 
SQUAB [skwob] (2) sb. An unfledged sparrow. 

SQUASHLE [skwosh-1] vb. To make a splashing noise. 
" It was so wet, my feet squash led in my shoes." 

SQUAT [skwot] (i) vb. (i.) To make flat. 

(ii.) To put a stone or piece of wood under the 
wheel of a carriage, to prevent its moving. 

SQUAT [skwot] (2) sb. A wedge placed under a carriage- 
wheel to prevent its moving. 

SQUATTED [skwot'id] pp. Splashed with mire or dirt. 

SQUIB [skwib] (i) sb. A squirt ; a syringe. 

' ' He stood back of the tree and skeeted water at 
me caterwise with a squib." 

SQUIB [skwib] (2) sb. Cuttle-fish ; so called, because it 
squirts sepia. (See Squib above.) Sepia officinalis. 

SQUIRREL-HUNTING, sb. A rough sport, in which people 
used formerly to assemble on S. Andrew's Day 
(3oth November), and under pretence of hunting 
squirrels, commit a good deal of poaching. It is 
now discontinued. 

STADDLE [stad-1] sb. A building of timber standing on 
legs or steadies, to raise it out of the mud. Poor 
dwellings of this kind were formerly common enough 
in small fishing towns, such as Queenborough. The 
word occurs repeatedly in the Queenborough Records 
of the time of Queen Elizabeth, as for instance, " De 
viginti sex domibus que vulgariter vocantur, the old 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 161 

staddeleSy or six and twentie houses." Staddle is now 
used only for the support of a stack of corn (see Steddle 
below.) It is a derivative of the common word stead. 
Anglo-Saxon stede, Icel. stadr, a stead, place ; and 
Anglo-Saxon stathol, a foundation, Icel. stodull, a shed. 
Stead can still be traced in LynsW, Frinsted, Wrin^/^, 
Beary&d", and other names of places in Kent, and in 
such surnames as T$ensted, Max&df, &c. 

STADEL, sb. The step of a ladder. (See also Stale, Stath.) 

STALDER [stairldur] sb. A stillen or frame to put barrels 

STALE [stall] vb. To put stales or rungs into a ladder. 

1493. "Item payde to John Robart for stalyng of 
the ladders of the churche, xx d ." 

Accounts of Churchwardens of St. Dunstarts, Canterbury. 

STALES [stailz] sb. pi. The staves, or risings of a ladder, 
or the staves of a rack in a stable. From Anglo- 
Saxon steely stely a stalk, stem, handle. Allied to stilly 
and stall i the stale being that by which the foot is 
kept firm. 

STALKER [stau-kur] sb. A crab-pot, or trap made of hoops 
and nets. Folkestone. 

STAND [stand] vb. To stop ; to be hindered. 
" We don't stand for weather/' 

STANMEL, STAMMEL, adj. The name given to a kind of 
woollen cloth of a red colour. 

" It'm paied to George Hutchenson, for a yard and 
a half of stanmel cloth to make her a petticote, at 
X s . vj d . the yard, xv s . ix d ." Sandwich Book of Orphans. 

STARE TAKE YOU, interj. phr. An imprecation in Kent, 
from Anglo-Saxon steorfa (a plague). " What a star/ 
be ye got at now ? " is also another use of the same 


1 62 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

START [staat] sb. A proceeding ; a business ; a set-out. 
"This's a rum start, I reckon/' 

STARVE-NAKED [staav-nai-kid] adj. Stark naked. Starved 
in Kent, sometimes means extremely cold, as well as 
extremely hungry. 

STATH [stath] sb. A step of a ladder. 

STAUNCH [stau-nsh] vb. To walk clumsily and heavily. 

STEADY [sted'i] adv. and adj. Slow. 

" I can git along middlin' well, if I go steady." 

STEAN [steen], STEENE, vb. To line, or pave with bricks 
or stones. Hence the name of the Steyne at Folke- 
stone and at Brighton. 

In Faversham Churchyard we read, " In this steened 
grave rest the mortal remains, &c." 

STEDDLE [sted-1] sb. A frame on which to stand anything, 
e.g., a *be&steddle, i.e., a bedstead ; especially a frame- 
work for supporting corn stacks. 

" Item in the best chamber, called the great chamber, 
one fayer standing bedsteddle." " Item in the chamber 
over the buntting house, two boarded bedsteddles" 

Boteler Inventory in Memorials of Eastry, p. 224, 225. 

STEEP [steep] vb. To make anything slope. To steep a 
stack, is to make the sides smooth and even, and to 
slope it up to the point of the roof. 

STENT [sten-t] sb. A word used by the oyster dredgers 
in North Kent, to denote that amount or number of 
oysters, fixed by the rules of their association, which 
they may dredge in one day. This quantity, or 
number, is much less than it would be possible to 
get up ; hence, stent is probably formed from stint, 
and means, a restricted amount. 

STILLEN [stiHn] sb. A stand for a cask, barrel, or wash- 
ing-tub. (See Stalder.) 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 1 63 

STILT [stil-t] sb. A crutch. 

In 1668 we find the following entry: "For a paire 
of stilts for ye tanner, o oo 3 d ." 

Overseer? Accounts, Holy Cross, Canterbury. 

STINGER [sting-ur] sb. A jelly-fish. Dover. 

STINK -ALIVE [stink-ulei-v] sb. The whiting pout ; so 
called because it soon becomes unfit to eat after 
being caught. Folkestone. 

STIPERS [stei-purs] sb. pi. The four poles at the sides of a 
bobbin-tug, which stand up two on each side, and keep 
the bobbins in their places. East Kent. 

STIVER [stivur] vb. To flutter ; to stagger ; to struggle 

" An so we stivered right acrass, 
An went up by a mason's." Dick and Sal, st. 50. 

STOCK [stoach] vb. To work about in the mud and dirt ; 
said of cattle treading the ground when it is wet. 

"He's always stochin about one plaace or t'other 
from mornin' to night." 

STOCK [stokj (i) sb. Cattle of all sorts. 
(2) The udder of a cow. 

STOCK [stok] (3) sb. A trough ; a stoup ; usually in com- 
position, as a holy water-stock ; a brinfe-%&v ; a pig- 
stock. Probably so called because it was originally 
made by hollowing out the stock of a tree. 

" For a stock of brass for the holy water, 7 s /' 

Fuller's History of Waltham Abbey, p. 17. 

" Item in the milke-houss, one brine-j/^, &c." 

Boteler Inventories. 

STOCK [stok] (4) sb. The back of the fireplace. And since 
this is generally black with soot, hence the phrase, 
" Black as a stock," is a very common one. 

STOCK-BOW [stok-boa] sb. A cross-bow. 

STOCK-LOG [stok-log] sb. The larger piece of wood which 
is laid behind the rest on a wood fire to form a back 
ing for it. 

164 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

STODGER [stoj'ur], A sturdy fellow able to get about in 
all sorts of weather. 

STODGY [stoj'i] adj. Thick; glutinous; muddy. 

" The church path's got middlin' stodgy." 
STOLDRED [stoa-ldurd] sb. Stealth. 

1657. "Some little corn by stoldred brought to 
town. Billings ley^s Brady-martyrologia, p. 107 

STOLT [stoalt] adj. Brisk and hearty ; stout (Anglo-Saxon 
stolt, firm). This is a word in common use among 
poultry keepers. 

" This here lot of ducks was doin' onaccountable 
bad at first going off, but now they'm got quite stolt." 

STONE [stoan] sb. A weight of eight pounds. 

STONE-FRUIT, sb. Plums, peaches, cherries, &c. 

Fruit is classed as Hard-fruit^ apples and pears. 
Stone-fruit, as above, and Low -fruit, gooseberries, 
currants, &c. 

STONE-REACH, sb. A portion of stony field, where the 
stones for a considerable distance lie very much 
thicker than in any other part. These stone -reaches 
are fast disappearing in East Kent ; the stones have 
been so thoroughly gathered off the fields, that stones 
for road purposes are scarce, and have risen consider- 
ably in price during the last twenty years. 

STOTCH [stoch] vb. To tread wet land into holes. (See 
Stocky Poach.} 

STOUNDED, adj. Astonished. 

STOVE [stoa'v] vb. To dry in an oven. 

STOW [stoa]. Same as the above. 

STOW -BOATING [stoa-but-in] vb. Dredging up stone at 
sea for making Roman cement. 

STRAIGHT [strait] adj. Grave; serious; solemn; shocked; 
often used in phrase, "To look straight," i.e., to look 
grave or shocked. 

" He looked purty straight over it, I can tell ye." 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 165 

STRAMMERLY [strain- urly] adj. Awkwardly ; ungainly. 
STRANDS, sb. pi. The dry bents of grass run to seed. 
STRAY [strai] sb. A winding creek. 

STRIKING-PLOUGH, sb. A sort of plough used in some parts 
of Kent. 

STRICKLE [strik-1] sb. A striker, with which the heaped- 
up measure is struck off and made even. The measure 
thus evened by the strickle is called race measure, i.e., 
razed measure. 

STRIG [strig] (i) sb. The footstalk of any flower or fruit, 
as the strigs of currants, gooseberries, &c. ; the string 
of a button. 

" Now doan't 'ee put the cherry- strig in's mouth." 

STRIG (2) vb. To take the fruit from off the stalk or strig ; 
as to strig currants, gooseberries, &c. 

" Will you help me strig these currants?" 
STRIKE [streik] (i) sb. The same as Strickle above. 

STRIKE [streik] (2) vb. " To strike a bucket," is to draw a 
full bucket towards the side of the well as it hangs by 
the chain of the windlass, and land it safely on the 

STRIKE [streik] (3) vb. To melt down, to re-cast, and so 
make smooth (as of wax). One sense of strike^ is to 
stroke ; to make smooth. 

1485. " Item for strykyng of the pascall and the font 
taper, ij s . iij d ." 

Churchwardens' Accounts, St. Durtstarfs, Canterbury. 

STRIKE-BAULK [streik-bauk] vb. To plough one furrow 
and leave another. 

STRIP-SHIRT [strip-shur't] adv. In shirt sleeves. A man 
is said to be working strip-shirt when he has his coat 
and waistcoat off. 

STROKE-BIAS [stroak-berus] sb. An old sport peculiar to 
Kent, and especially the eastern part of the county ; 

1 66 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

it consisted of trials of speed between members of 
two or more villages, and from the description of it 
given in Brome's Travels over England (1700), it 
appears to have borne some resemblance to the 
game of prisoners' base. 

STROOCH [stroo-ch] vb. To drag the feet along the ground 
in walking. 

" Now then ! how long be ye goin' to be ? D'ye 
think the train '11 wait for ye ? stroochin along ! " 

STUB [stub] (i) sb. The stump of a tree or plant. 

" Ye'll find a pretty many stubs about when ye gets 
into de wood. Ye must look where ye be goin'." 

STUB [stub] (2) vb. To grub up ; used of taking up the 
stubble from a field, or of getting up the roots of a 
tree from the ground. 

STUD [stud] (i) sb. A stop ; a prop ; a support. The feet 
on which a trug-basket stands are called studs. 

STUD [stud] (2) sb. The name given to a row of small 
trees cut off about two feet from the ground, and left 
to sprout so as to form a boundary line. (See Dole.} 

STULPE [stuolp] sb. A post ; especially a short stout post 
put down to mark a boundary. Sometimes also spelt 
stoop and stolpe. 

1569. " Ij greate talle shydes for stulpes, iiij d ." 

Accounts, St. Dunstarts, Canterbury. 

STUNT [stunt] adj. Sullen ; dogged ; obstinate. 

STUPPIN [stup'in], STUPEN [stup'in] sb. A stew-pan or 

STUPPNET [stup*nit] sb. A stew-pan or skillet. (See Stuppin 

In Boteler Inventory, Memorials of Eastry, p. 226, 
amongst other kitchen furniture, we find, " Fower 
stuppnetts, five brass candlesticks, five spitts, &c." 

" In the Sandwich Book of Orphans, it is spelled 

" It. Rc'd for a brass stugpenet, oo 02 oo." 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 167 

STURM [sturm] adj. Stern ; morose. 

SULING [seirling], STILLING [suHng], SOLIN [solin] sb. 
A Domesday measure of land which occurs only in 
that part of the Domesday Record which relates to 
Kent. It is supposed to contain the same quantity 
of land as a carucate. This is as much land as may 
be tilled and laboured with one plough, and the 
beasts belonging thereto, in a year; having meadow, 
pasture and houses for the householders and cattle 
belonging to it. The hide was the measure of land 
in the reign of the Confessor; the carucate, that 
to which it was reduced in the Conqueror's new 
standard. From Anglo-Saxon sulk, a plough. 

"The Archbishop himself holds Eastry. It was 
taxed at seven sulings." Domesday Book. 

SULLAGE [suHj], SUILLAGE [swiHj ] sb. Muck ; dung; 
sewage ; dirty water. 

1630. " To the Prior and his sonne for caryinge out 
the duste and sullage out of Sr. [Sister] Pett's house 
.... vj d ." MS. Accounts, St. John's Hospital^ Canterbury. 

SUM [sum] vb. To reckon ; to cast up accounts ; to learn 
arithmetic. So the French sommer. 

SUMMER-LAND [sunrr-land] sb. Ground that lies fallow 
all the summer. 

SUMP [sunrp] sb. A small cove ; a muddy shallow. The 
Upper and Lower Sump in Faversham Creek, are 
small coves near its mouth where fishing vessels can 
anchor. The word is the same as swamp. 

SUMMUT [sunrut] sb. Something. 

SUNDAYS AND WORKY-DAYS, i.e., all his time ; altogether. 

A phrase used when a man's whole time is taken up 
by any necessary duties. 

"Sundays or worky-days is all one to him." 

SUN-DOG [sun-dog] sb. A halo round the sun ; seen when 
the air is very moist ; generally supposed to foretell 
the approach of rain. The same as Sun-hound. 

1 68 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

SUN-HOUND, sb. Same as the above. 

SUPM [sup-in] sb. Something. 

" I sed ta her ' what books dere be, 

Dare's supm ta be sin ; ' 
Den she turn'd round and sed to me, 
'Suppose we do go in.'" 

Dick and Sal, st. 55. 

SURELYE [sheu-rlei] adv. Surely. 

" Well, that ain't you, is it ? Surelye ! " 


SWALLOWS [swal-oaz] sb. pi. Places where a stream 
enters the earth and runs underground for a space, 
were formerly so called in the parish of Bishops- 

SWAP [swop] (i) vb. To reap with a swap-hook. 

SWAP [swop] (2) sb., or SWAP-HOOK [swop-huok] sb. An 
implement used for reaping peas, consisting of part 
of a scythe fastened to the end of a long handle. 

SWART [swaurt], SWARTH [swaurth] (Anglo-Saxon swearf] 
adj. Of a dark colour. 

" The wheat looks very swarth." 

SWARVE [swor'v] vb. To fill up ; to be choked with sedi- 
ment. When the channel of a river or a ditch becomes 
choked up with any sediment deposited by the water 
running into it, it is said to swarve up. 

SWATCH [swoch] (i) sb. A channel, or water passage, 
such as that between the Goodwin Sands. 

"As to the Goodwin, it is by much the largest of 
them all, and is divided into two parts, though the 
channel or swatch betwixt them is not navigable, except 
by small boats." Lewis, p. 170. 

SWATCH [swoch] (2) vb. A wand. 

SWATCHEL [swoch-1] vb. To beat with a swatch or wand. 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 169 

SWATH [swau-th], SWARTH [swau-rth], SWEATH [swee-th] 
sb. A row of grass or corn, as it is laid on the ground 
by the mowers. 

" And there the strawy Greeks, ripe for his edge, 
Fall down before him like the mower's swath? 

Shakespeare Troilus and Cressida, act v. sc. 5. 

SWAY [swai] sb. To carry the sway, is to excel in any- 
thing; to be the best man. 

"No matter what 'twas, mowin', or rippin', or crickut, 
or anything, 'twas all the same, I always carried the 
sway, time I was a young chap." 

SWEAL [sweel] vb. To singe a pig. 

SWEEPS [sweep-s], SWIPS [swip-s] sb. pi. The sails of a 

SWEET-LIQUOR [sweet-lik-r] sb. Wort ; new beer unfer- 
mented, or in the process of fermentation. 

SWEET- WORT, sb. Same as the above. 
SWELKED, pp. Overcome by excessive heat. 
SWELTRY, adj. Sultry ; excessively close and hot. 

SWIFTS [swift's] sb. pi. The arms, or sails of a windmill. 
(See Sweeps?) 

S WILLING-LAND, sb. A plough land. Same as Suling. 

SWIMY [swei-mi], SWIMMY [swim-i], SWIMMY- HEADED 
[swinri-hed-id] adj. Giddy ; dizzy ; faint. (Anglo- 
Saxon swima, a swoon ; swimming in the head.) 

" I kep' on a lookin' at de swifts a gooin' raound 
and raound till it made me feel quite swimy, it did." 

SwiNGEL [swinj-ul] sb. The upper part of the flail which 
swings to and fro and beats the corn out of the ear. 
(Anglo-Saxon swingel, a beater.) 

SWISH-ALONG [swish-ulong-] vb. To move with great 

SWOT [swot] sb. Soot. 

170 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 


TAANT [taa*nt, taa'unt] adj. Out of proportion ; very 
high or tall. This is a nautical word, usually applied 
to the masts of a ship. 

TACK [tak] sb. An unpleasant taste. 

TAFFETY [tafiti] adj. Squeamish ; dainty ; particular 
about food. East Kent. 

TAG [tag] sb. Tagge, a sheep of the first year. 

TAKE [talk] vb. A redundant use is often made of this 
word, as " He'd better by half take and get married." 
East Kent. 

TALLY [taH] sb. A stick, on which the number of bushels 
picked by the hop-picker is reckoned, and noted by 
means of a notch cut in it by the tallyman. 

TALLYMAN [taHmun] sb. The man who takes the tallies, 
notches them, and so keeps account of the number of 
bushels picked by the hop-pickers. 

TAMSIN [tanrzin] sb. A little clothes' horse, or frame, to 
stand before a fire to warm a shirt or a shift, or child's 
linen. Tamsen, Thomasin, Thomasme, is a woman's 
name, and is here used as though the "horse" did the 
work of the servant of that name. For the same reason 
it is otherwise called a maid, or maiden. It is not only 
called Tamsin, but Jenny, Betty, Molly, or any other 
maiden name ; and if it is very small it is called a girl. 

TAN [tan] (i) sb. The bark of a young oak. 

TAR-GRASS [taa*graas] sb. The wild vetch. Vicia cracca. 

TARNAL [taa-nl] adj. A strong expletive, really " eternal," 
used to denote something very good or very bad, gene- 
rally the latter. 

" Dare was a tarnal sight of meat." 

Dick and Sal, st. 62. 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 1 7 1 

TAS [tas], or TARSE [taas] sb. A mow of corn. 
In Old English taas was any sort of heap. 

" An hundred knyghtes slain and dead, alas ! 
That after were founden in the taas" 

Chaucer, Troilas and Cressede, 1. iv. c. 30. 

TASS-CUTTER [tas-cut-r] sb. An implement with which to 
cut hay in the stack. 

TATTER [tat-r], TATTERY [tat-ur'i] adj. (i.) Ragged, (ii.) 
Cross ; peevish ; ill-tempered ; ill-natured. 

" The old 'ooman's middlin' tatter to-day, I can tell 

TATTY [tat-i] adj. Testy. (See above.) 

TAULEY [tairli] sb. A taw or marble. 

TEAM [teem] sb. A litter of pigs or a brood of ducks. 

TEAR-RAG [tair-r'ag] sb. A rude, boisterous child; a romp; 
one who is always getting into mischief and tearing 
his clothes, hence the name. East Kent. 

TED [ted] vb. To make hay, by tossing it about and 
spreading it in the sun. 

1523. "For mowyngand teddyng of y e garden, xij d ." 
Accounts of St. Johris Hospital, Canterbury. 

TEDIOUS [tee-jus] adj. and adv. Acute ; violent ; excessive ; 
" tedious bad ; " " tedious good/' Also, long, but not 
necessarily wearisome, as we now commonly under- 
stand the word. 

" Within me grief hath kept a tedious fast." 

Shakespeare Richard II. act ii. sc. i. 

"He sed dare was a teejus fair 
Dat lasted for a wick." Dick and Sal, st. 8. 

TEEN [teen] vb. To make a hedge with raddles. 

1522. "Paied for tenying of a hedge [_i.e. y trimming 
it], vj d ." MS. Accounts, St. John's Hospital, Canterbury. 

172 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

TEENER [tee-nur], TENER, sb. A man who teens or keeps 
in order a raddle-fence. 

1616. "For bread and drink for the teners and 

MS. Accounts St. John's Hospital, Canterbury. 

TEES [teez] sb. pi. A part of a cart-horse's harness ; the 
draughts which are fixed to the hemwoods of the collar 
and to the rods of the cart. East Kent. (Literally, ties.) 

TEG, sb. A sheep of the first year. (See Tag.) 

TELL [tel] vb. To count. " Here's the money, will you tell 
it out on the table ? " The teller in the House of Com- 
mons is one who counts the number of members as 
they go into the lobby. 

" And every shepherd tells his tale 
Under the hawthorn in the vale." Grafs Elegy. 

TENTER-GROUND [tent-r-grou-nd] sb. Ground where tenter- 
hooks were placed in former times for stretching skins, 
linen, &c. 

TERRIBLE [terbl or tarbl] adv. Extremely ; exceedingly. 
" He's a terrible kind husband, and no mistake." 

" Frost took tops terrible, but 'taint touched t' roots 
o' taters." 

TERRIFY [terr'ifei] vb. To annoy ; to tease ; to disturb. 

A bad cough is said to be " very terryfying" And 
the flies are said "to terrify the cattle." The rooks 
also " terrify the beans." 

TETAW [tet-au] sb. A simpleton ; a fool. 

THAT [dhat] adv. So ; to such a degree. 

" I was that mad with him, I could have scratched 
his eyes out." 

" He's that rude, I doant know whatever I shall do 
with him." 

THEM [dhem] phr. Contraction from they'm, i.e., they am. 

" How be um all at home r " " Them all well, without 
'tis mother, and she be tedious bad wid' de brown 
titus." (See Am.) 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 173 

THICK THUMB'D [thik-thumd] adj. Sluttish; untidy; 

THIS-HERE, den. pron. This. (An intensive form.) 

" That there man was a sittin' on this- ere wery 
chair, when, all of a suddent, down he goos in one 
of these 'ere plexicle fits. * Who'd 'ave thoft it!' 
said the missus." 

THOFT [thof-t] vb. Thought. 

THOVE [thoa-v] vb. Stole. (The perfect tense of thieve.) 

THREDDLE [thred-1] vb. To thread a needle. 

THRIBLE [thrib-1] adj. Treble ; threefold. 

THRO [throa] prep. Fro ; from. 

THROT [throt] sb. Throat. 

" He's throt was that bad all last week, that he was 
troubled to go to and thro to work." 

THROWS [throaz] sb. A thoroughfare ; a public way. 
The four- throws, a point where four roads meet. 

THUNDERBUG [thun-durbug] sb. A midge. 

" The thunderbugs did terrify me so, that I thought 
I should have been forced to get up and goo out of 

THURROCK [thurr'uk] sb. A wooden drain under a gate ; 
a small passage or wooden tunnel through a bank. 

In Sheppy, if the hares gain the refuge of a thurrock, 
before the greyhounds can catch them, they are consi- 
dered to have gained sanctuary and are not molested. 
(See Pinnock^] 

TICKLER [tik-lur] adj. Particular. 

" I lay he's not so tickler as all that." 

TIDE [teid] sb. The tithe. This is a remarkable instance 
of the way in which th is converted into d in Kent, as 
wid for with, &c. 

174 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

TIDY [tei'di] adv. Considerable. " A tidy few," means a 
good number. 

" It's a tidy step right down to the house, I lay." 

TIE [tei] sb. A foot-race between two competitors. The 
expression, " Ride and tie" is commonly interpreted 
to mean, that when two people have one horse, the 
first rides a certain distance and then dismounts for 
the second to get up, so that they always tie or keep 

" Sir Dudley Diggs, in 1638, left the yearly sum of 
^20, to be paid to two young men and two maids, who, 
on May igth, yearly, should run a tie at Old Wives' 
Lees, in Chilham, and prevail. The lands, from the 
rent of which the prize was paid, were called the 
Running Lands." Hasted, ii. 787. 

TIE-TAILS [tei-tailz] sb. pi. Herrings, which being gill- 
broken cannot be hung up by their heads ; they are 
therefore tied on the spits by their tails. Though they 
are just as good eating as the others, they fetch less 
money; and when I was in the hang, a tiny child 
came in and addressed the burly owner thus, " Please, 
sir, mother wants a farthing's worth of tie-tails for her 
tea." She got two or three, and some broken scraps 
into the bargain. F. Buckland. 

Curiosities of Natural History, 2nd series, p. 274. 

TIGHTISH LOT [tei'tish lot] phr. A good many. (See 
also Tidy.] 

TlGHT-UP, vb. Make tidy. (Dight.} 

" My missus has gone to tight-up." 

TILL [til] adj. Tame ; gentle. 

TILLER [til'ur] sb. An oak sapling, or other young timber 
tree of less than six inches and a quarter in girth. 
In other places it is called teller. Anglo-Saxon telgor, 
a branch, a twig. 

TILT [til't] (i) sb. The moveable covering of a cart or 
wagon ; generally made of sail-cloth or canvas. 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 175 

TILT [til-t], TILTH [tilth] (2) sb. Condition of arable land. 
" He has a good tilth,' or, " His land is in good tilth" 

TILTER (out-of) sb. Out of order ; out of condition. 

" He's left that farm purty much out o' titter, I can 
tell ye." 

TiMANS [termunz] sb. pi. Dregs, or grounds poured out 
of the cask after the liquor is drawn off. Literally 
teemmgSy from the Middle -English word temen, to 
pour out, to empty a cask. 

TlMBERSOME, adj. Tiresome ; troublesome. 

TIME-O'-DAY [teim-u-dai] sb. " To pass the time-o'-day" 
is to salute a person whom you chance to meet on the 
road, with " Good-morning; " " A fine day;" "Good- 
night," &c. 

" I an't never had no acquaintance wid de man, not 
no more than just to pass de time-d-day." 

TIMMY [tinri] adj. Fretful. (See Timbersome, from which 
this is probably abbreviated.) 

TIMNAIL [tinrnail] sb. A vegetable-marrow. East Kent. 

TINE [tein] (i) sb. The tooth, or prong of a rake, harrow, 
or fork. 

TINE [tein] (2) vb. To shut; to fence. 

TIPTOE [tip-toa] sb. An extinguisher. West Kent. 

TlP-TONGUED [tip-tung*d] adj. Inarticulate ; indistinct in 
utterance ; lisping. 

" He tarks so tip-tongued since he've come back from 
Lunnon, we can't make nothin' o' what he says other- 

TIRYEN [tiryun] sb. An anagramatical form of Trinity. 
Thus, " Tiryen Church," Trinity Church. East Kent. 

TISSICK [tis-ik] sb. A tickling cough. 
TiSlCKY, adj. Tickling. " A tisicky cough." 

176 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

TITHER [tith-ur] vb. To trifle ; e.g., to tither about, is to 
waste time. 

TIVER [tivur] sb. Red ochre for marking sheep. 

To-AND-AGiN [too-und-irgin] prep. phr. Backwards and 
forwards ; to and fro. 

" Ah, I likes to goo to church o' Sundays, I doos ; 
I likes to set an' look t at de gurt old clock, an 5 see de 
old pendylum goo to-and-agin; to-and-agin ; to-and- 
agin, all de while." 

TOAR [toar] sb. Long, coarse, sour grass in fields that 
are understocked. 

TOBIT, sb. A measure of half a bushel. (See Tovet.) 
TOFET or TOVET [tof-it or tovit] sb. (See above.) 

TOFF [tau-f] sb. The pods of peas, and the ears of wheat 
and barley, after they have been threshed. East Kent. 
(See Caving 

TOFF-SIEVE [tauf-siv], TOFT-SIEVE [tau-ft-siv] sb. A screen 
or sieve for cleaning wheat. 

TOFT [toft] sb. A messuage ; a dwelling-house with the 
adjacent buildings and curtilage, and the adjoining 
lands appropriate to the use of the household ; a piece 
of ground on which a messuage formerly stood. 

To IT [too-t or tu-ut] phr. Omitting the verb do, which 
is understood. Remind a Kentish man of something 
he has been told to do, but which you see is still undone, 
and the chances are he will reply, " I'm just a going to 
it," i.e., I am just going to do it. 

TOLL [toal] sb. A clump ; a row ; generally applied to 
trees ; so a rook-A?//, is a rookery. 

" There was a toll of trees at Knowlton which was 
blown down in the great November gale." 

TOLVET [tolvit] sb. (See Tovet.) 

1522. "Paied for vj busshellis and a tolvettvi grene 
pesen, price the bushell, x d ., sm., v s . v d ." 

Accounts of St. Johris Hospital, Canterbury. 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 177 

TOM, sb. A cock. 

" I bought a torn and three hens off old farmer Chucks 
last spring, but I never made but very little out of 'em 
before the old fox came round." 

TOMMY [tonri] sb. A workman's luncheon. 

" One of these here pikeys come along and stole 
my tommy, he did." 

TON [tun], TUN, sb. The great vat wherein the beer is 
worked before it is tunned, or cleansed. 

" Item in the brewhouss, two brewinge towns, one 
coolbacke, two fornisses, fower tubes with other 
lumber, vj 11 . xiij 8 ." 

Boteler Inventory, in Memorials of Eastry, p. 228. 

TONGUE [tung] (i) vb. To use the tongue in a pert, saucy 
and rude way ; to scold ; to abuse. 

" Sarcy little hussey ! I told her sl^e shouldn't go 
out no more of evenings ; and fancy, she just did turn 
round and tongue me, she did." 

TONGUE [tung] (2) sb. The projecting part of the cowl of 
an oast, which causes it to turn round when acted on 
by the wind. 

TOOAD [too-ud] sb. A toad. 

TOOAT [too-ut] sb. All ; an entirety. 

" The whole tooat av't." (? the total.) 

TORF [tauf] sb. Chaff that is raked off the corn, after it 
it is threshed, but before it is cleaned. (See Toff.) 

TORTOISE [tau-tus] sb. The cuttle-fish. Folkestone. 

T'OTHER DAY [tudlrr dai] sb. The day before yesterday. 
A most correct expression, because other, in Early 
English, invariably means second, and the day before 
yesterday is the second day, reckoning backwards. 
It is remarkable that second is the only ordinal 
number of French derivation ; before the thirteenth 
century it was unknown, and other was used instead 
of it. 

178 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

TOVET [tovit] sb. Half a bushel. (See Tofet.) Etymolo- 
gically, vet is here the Anglo-Saxon/^/^, pi. of fat, a 
vessel, a native word now supplanted by the Dutch 
word vat. A vat is now used of a large vessel, but the 
Anglo-Saxon feet was used of a much smaller one. In 
the present case, it evidently meant a vessel containing 
a peck. The Middle-English e represents the Anglo- 
Saxon O3. 

TOVIL [toa*vil] sb. A measure of capacity. This word 
looks like a corruption of two-fill, i.e., two fillings of a 
given measure. 

To-YEAR [tu-yur] adv. This year ; as, to-day is this day. 

TRACK [trak] vb. To tread down ; mark out the road ; 
as is the case with a snow-covered road, if there has 
been much traffic on it. At times, after a heavy fall 
of snow, you may hear a person say, " I couldn't get 
on, the snow isn't tracked yet." 

SS *. ^e fastenings by W nich 

the scythe is secured to its bat. 

TREAD [traid, or tred] sb. A wheel-/raz^; a rut ; a track. 
Called in Sussex the trade [trard]. 

TREDDLES [tred-lz] sb. pi. The droppings of sheep. 

TREVET [trivit] sb. A trivet ; a three-legged stand 
whereon to set a tea-kettle, or saucepan. "As right 
as a trevet" because, unless the trivet be placed just 
upright, it will lob, or tilt over. Literally, " three feet/' 
Compare Tovet, " two vats." 

" Ite. in the kitchen, seavin brass kettells . . . two 
greedyrons, one trivett with other lumber there, &c." 
Boteler Inventory, Memorials of Eastry, p. 226. 

TRILL [tril] vb. To trundle a hoop, &c. 
TROLE [troa'l] vb. To trundle a hoop. 

TROUBLED TO GO [trub-ld tu goa] phr. Hardly able to 
get about and do one's work. 

"Many a time he's that bad, he's troubled to go." 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 179 

TRUCKLEBED [truk-1-bed] sb. A bed that runs on truckles, 
or low-running wheels, i.e., castors, and is thus easily 
run in and out under another and higher bed. In 
the day-time the trucklebed was stowed away under 
the chief bed in the room, and at night was occupied 
by a servant or child. Hence, the word is used con- 
temptuously of an underling or low bred person. 

" Yees, ya shall pay, ya trucklebed j 

Ya bufHe-headed ass ; 
I know 'twas ya grate pumpkin 'ead, 
First blunnered thro' de glass." 

Dick and Sat, st. 81. 

TRUG [trug], TRUGG, sb. A kind of basket, much used by 
gardeners and others ; formed of thin slivers of wood, 
with a fixed handle in the middle, somewhat like the 
handle of a bucket, and with studs at the bottom to 
keep it steady. (See also Sliver, Stud.} Etymolo- 
gically connected with (or the same word as) trough. 

" Ite. in the mylke house, a bryne stock, a table, 

two dowsin of bowles and truggs, three milk keelars, 

two charnes, a mustard quearne with other lumber, 

then prized at xx s ." 

Boteler Inventory, Memorials of Eastry, p. 226. (See also p. 228.) 

TRULL [trul] vb. To trundle. (See Trole.) 

TRUSH [trush] sb. A hassock for kneeling in church. 
In the old Churchwardens' Accounts for the parish of 
Eastry the entry frequently occurs, " To mending the 
trushes;" and the word is still occasionally used. 

TRUSSEL, sb. A tressel ; a barrel-stand. 

TRY [trei] vb. To boil down lard. (See Browsells.) 

TUG [tug] sb. The body of a wagon, without the hutch ; 
a carriage for conveying timber, bobbins, &c. (See 

TUKE [teuk] sb. The redshank; a very common shore- 
bird on the Kentish saltings. Sittingbourne. 

TUMBLING-BAY [tumb-ling-bai] sb. A cascade, or small 
waterfall. West Kent. 

i8o Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

TUMP [tump] sb. A small hillock ; a mound, or irregular 
rising on the surface of the pastures. Often, indeed 
nearly always, an old ant-hill. Sittingbourne. 

" Ye caan't make nothin' o' mowin', all de while 
dere's so many o' dese here gurt old tumps all over 
de plaace." 

TUNNEL [turrl] sb. A funnel for pouring liquids from one 
vessel into another. 

TURN-WRIST-PLOUG [pro., turn-rees-plou] sb. A Kentish 
plough, with a movable mould-board. 

TUSSOME [tus-um] sb. Hemp or flax. West Kent. 

TWANG, sb. A peculiar flavour ; a strong, rank, unpleasant 
taste ; elsewhere called a tack. 

TWEAN- WHILES [twee*n-weilz] adv. Between times. 

TWIBIL [twei-bil] sb. A hook for cutting beans. Literally, 
"double bill." 

TWINGE [twinj] sb. An ear- wig. 

TWINK, sb. A sharp, shrewish, grasping woman. 

" Ye've got to get up middlin' early if ye be goin' 
to best her, I can tell ye ; proper old twink y an' no 
mistake ! " 

TWITTER [twit-r] (i) vb. To twit ; to tease. 

TWITTER [twit-r] (2) sb. A state of agitation ; a flutter. 
Thus, " I'm all in a twitter" means, I'm all in a flutter, 
or fluster. 

Two [too] adj. "My husband will be two men," i.e., so 
different from himself; so angry, that he won't seem 
to be the same person. 

TYE [tei], TIE, sb. An extensive common pasture. Such 
as Waldershare Tie ; Old Wives' Lees Tie. 

I5I0 ._ A croft callid Wolnes Tie." 

MS. Accounts^ St. Dunstaris^ Canterbury. 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 181 


UMBLEMENT [umb-ulmunt] sb. Complement. 

" Throw in another dozen to make up the umblement." 

Hundred of Hoo. 

UNACCOUNTABLE [mrukount'ubl] adj. and adv. Wonder- 
ful; excessive; exceedingly. 

" You've been gone an unaccountable time, mate." 
UNCLE-OWL [unk-1-oul] sb. A species of skate. Folkestone. 
UNCOUS [un*kus] adj. Melancholy. (See Unky.} 

UNDERNEAD [mrdurneed*] prep. Underneath. 

" Den on we went, and soon we see 

A brick place where instead 
A bein' at top as't ought to be, 

De road ran undernead? Dick and Sal, st. 46. 

UNDER -SPINDLED [und-r-spind-ld] adj. Under -manned 
and under-horsed, used of a man who has not sufficient 
capital or stock to carry on his business. 

In Sussex the expression is under -exed; ex being 
an axle. 

UNFORBIDDEN [un*furbid*n] adj. Uncorrected ; spoiled ; 
unrestrained ; troublesome. 

" He's an unforbidden young mortal." 

UNGAIN [ungain-] adj. Awkward; clumsy; loutish. 
" He's so very ungain'' 

UNHANDY [unhand- i] adj. Inconvenient; difficult of access. 

"Ya see 'tis a werry unhandy pleace, so fur away 
fro' shops." 

UNKY [un-ki] adj. Lonely; solitary; melancholy. (See 

" Don't you feel a bit unky otherwhile, livin' down 
here all alone, without ne'er a neighbour nor no one 
to come anigh ? " 

1 82 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

UNLEVEL [unlevl] adj. Uneven ; rough. 

UNLUCKY [unluk-i] adj. Mischievous. 

"That child's terr'ble unhtcky surelye ! He's always 
sum'ers or 'nother, and into somethinV 

UNTHRUM [unthrunr] adj. Awkward ; unhandy. 

UPGROWN [up'groan] adj. Grown up. " He must be as 
old as that, because he's got upgrown daughters." (See 
Foreright^) East Kent. 

UPSET [upset-] vb. To scold. 

" I upset her pretty much o' Sunday mornin', for she 
kep' messin' about till she got too late for church." 

UPSETTING [upset-in] sb. A scolding. 

" His missus give him a good upsettiri, that she did." 

UPSTAND [up-stand] vb. To stand up. 

" That the members shall address the chair and speak 
Upstanding." Rules of Eastry Cottage Gardeners' Club. 

UPSTANDS [up-standz] sb. pi. Live trees or bushes cut 
breast high to serve as marks for boundaries of 
parishes, estates, &c. 

UPWARD [up-wurd] adj. The wind is said to be upward 
when it is in the north, and downward when it is in the 
south. The north is generally esteemed the highest 
part of the world. 

Cczsar's Commentary, iv. 28, where "inferiorem partem 
insulae " means the south of the island ; and again, 
v. 13, " inferior ad meridiem spectat." 

URGE [urj] vb. To annoy ; aggravate ; provoke. 

" It urges me to see anyone go on so." 
USE [euz] (i) vb. To work or till land ; to hire it. 

" Who uses this farm r " " He uses it himself," i.e., 
he keeps it in his own hands and farms it himself. 

To use money is to borrow it. 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 1 83 

USE [euz] (2) vb. To accustom. 

" It's what you use 'em to when they be young/' 

USE-POLE [euz-poal] sb. A pole thicker than a hop-pole, 
and strong enough to use for other purposes. 


VALE [vail] sb. A water-rat ; called elsewhere a vole. 
VAMPISHNESS, sb. Frowardness ; perverseness. 

VAST [vaast] adv. Very ; exceedingly. This word is often 
used of small things : " It is vast little." " Others of 
vastly less importance." 

VIGILOUS [vij'ilus] adj. Vicious, of a horse; also fierce, 

VILL-HORSE [vil-urs] sb. The horse that goes in the rods, 
shafts, or thills. The #z7/-horse is the same as the 
fill-horse, or thill-horse. 

VINE [vein] sb. A general name applied to the climbing 
bine of several plants, which are distinguished from 
one another by the specific name being prefixed, as 
the grape-vme, hop-vme, &c. (See Grape-vine^) 


WACKER [wak-ur] (i) adj. Active "He's a wacker little 
chap." (2) Angry; wrathful. 

" Muster Jarret was wacker at his bull getting into 
the turnip field." 

Anglo-Saxon, wacor, vigilant. 

184 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

WAG [wag] vb. To stir ; to move. The phrase, " The dog 
wags his tail," is common enough everywhere ; but to 
speak of wagging the whole body, the head, the tongue, 
or the hand, is local. " There he goes wagging along/' 

" Everyone that passeth by her shall hiss and wag 
his hand/' Zeph. ii. 15. 

WAI [wai] vb. Word of command to a cart-horse, meaning 
" Come to the near side." East Kent. 

WAISTCOAT [wes-kut] sb. This word, now restricted to a 
man's garment, was formerly given to an under-coat 
worn by either sex. (See Petticoat?) 

" Item more paid (for Thomasine Millians) to George 
Hutchenson for iiij. yeardes of clothe to make her a 
petticote and a waste cote, at ij 8 . vj d . the yarde . . . x s ." 

Sandwich Book of Orphans. 

WAKERELL [wai-kur'ul or wak-ur'ul] BELL, sb. The waking 
bell, or bell for calling people in the early morning, 
still rung at Sandwich at five a.m. 

" Item for a rope for the wakerrel .... iij d /' 
Churchwardens' Accounts, St. Dunstarfs, Canterbury, A.D. 1485. 

It was otherwise called the Wagerell bell, and the 
Wakeryng bell. 

WALE [wail] sb. A tumour or large swelling. 
WALLER'D [wol-urd] sb. The wind. 

" De Folkston gals looked houghed black, 
Old waller 'd roar'd about." Dick and Sal, st. 23. 

And again 

" De sun and sky begun look bright, 
An waller'd stopt his hissinV St 25. 

WAN [wan] sb. A wagon, not necessarily a van, as 
generally understood. Sittingbourne. 

WANKLE [wonk-1] adj. Sickly ; generally applied to a 
child. A man said of his wife that she was " a poor 
wankle creature." 

WAPS [wops] sb. A wasp. So haps for hasp, &c. 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 185 

WARP [waup] sb. Four things of any kind ; as a warp of 

WARPS [waups] sb. pi. Distinct pieces of ploughed land 
separated by the furrows. 

WARP-UP [wau-p-up] vb. To plough land in warps, i.e., 
with ten, twelve or more ridges, on each side of which 
a furrow is left to carry off the water. 

WAR WAPS [waurwops] phr. Look out ; beware. 

WASH [wosh] (i) sb. A basket used at Whitstable for 
measuring whelks, and containing about half a prickle, 
or ten strikes of oysters. Amongst the rates and dues 
of Margate Pier, Lewis gives, "For every wash of 
oysters, 3d." A prickle is twenty strikes, a strike is 
four bushels. 

WASH [wosh] (2), WASH -WAY [wosh-wai] sb. Narrow 
paths cut in the woods to make the cants in a woodfall. 
A fall of ten acres would probably be washed into six 
or seven cants. 

" You've no call to follow the main-track ; keep 
down this here wash -way for about ten rods and 
you'll come right agin him." 

WASH [wosh] (3) vb. To mark out with wash-ways. 
WASTES [wai-sts] vb. Waste lands. 

WATER -BURN [waa-tur-burn] sb. The phosphorescent 
appearance of the sea. 

It is much disliked by the herring-yawlers, as the 
cunning fish can then see the net and will not go into 
it. F. Auckland. 

WATER-GALLS [waa-tur-gaulz] sb. pi. Jelly-fish. Dover. 

WATER-TABLE [waa-tur-tarbl] sb. The little ditch at the 
side of the road, or a small indentation across a road, 
for carrying off the water. 

WATTLE [wot-1] sb. A hurdle made like a gate, of split 
wood, used for folding sheep. 

1 86 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

WATTLE-GATES [wot-1-gaits] sb. pi. Same as the above. 

WAUR [waur], WAURE, sb. Sea-wrack ; a marine plant 
(Zostera marina], much used for manure. (See Oare.) 
Anglo-Saxon, war, waar. "Alga, waar ;" Corpus 
Glossary (8th century). 

WAX-DOLLS [waks-dolz] sb. Fumaria officinalis. So called 
from the doll-like appearance of its little flowers. 

WAY-GRASS, .y$. A weed; knot-grass. Polygonum aviculare. 

WEALD [wee*ld] sb. The Weald of Kent is the wood, or 
wooded part of Kent, which was formerly covered with 
forest, but is now for the most part cultivated. 

WEASEL-SNOUT [wee-zl-snout] sb. The toad flax. Linaria 

WEATHER, sb. Bad weather. 

"'Tis middlin' fine now; but there's eversomuch 
weather coming up." 

WELFING [welf-in] sb. The covering of a drain. 

WELTER [welt'ur] vb. To wither. 
" The leaves begin to welter!' 

WENCE [wens'] sb. The centre of cross-roads. (See Went.) 

WENT [went] sb. A way. At Ightham, Seven Vents is the 
name of a place where seven roads meet. The plural 
of wents is frequently pronounced wens. (See above.) 
Middle-English, went, a way ; from the verb to wend. 

WERR [wur] adv. Very ; " werr like/' very like. 

WERRY [werr'i] sb. A weir. The Abbot of Faversham 
owned the weir in the sea at Seasalter. It was called 
Snowt-werry in the time of Hen. VII., afterwards 

WET [wet] vb. "To wet the tea" is to pour a little boiling 
water on the tea ; this is allowed to stand for a time 
before the teapot is filled up. " To wet a pudding" is 
to mix it ; so the baker is said to wet his bread when 
he moistens his flour. 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 187 

WET-FOOT [wet-fuot] adj. To get the feet wet or damp. 

" He came home wet-foot, and set there wid'out 
taking off his boots, and so he caught his death." 

WHAT-FOR [wot-fur] inter, adv. What kind or sort of? 
" What-for day is't ? " i.e., what kind of day is it ? 
" What-for a man is he ? " 

" What-for a lot of cherries is there this year ? " 
So in German, was fur. 

WHAT'N, inter, pron. What sort ; what kind. 

" Then you can see what'n a bug he be ? " 
Short for what kin, i.e., what kind. 

WHATSAY [wot-sai] interog. phr. Contracted from "What 
do you say ? " Generally used in Kent and Sussex 
before answering a question, even when the question 
is perfectly well understood. 

WHEAT-KIN [wit-kin] sb. A supper for the servants and 
work-folks, when the wheat is all cut ; the feast at the 
end of hop-picking is called a hop-kin. 

WHEAT-SHEAR [wee-t-sheer] vb. To cut wheat. 

WHER [wur] conj. Whether. 

" I ax'd 'im wher he would or not, an he sed, * No.' ' 

WHICKET FOR WHACKET [wik-it fur wak-it]. A phrase ; 
meaning the same as " Tit for tat." 

WHIFFLE [wif-1], WIFFLE, vb. To come in gusts ; to blow 
hither and thither ; to turn and curl about. 

" 'Tis de wind whiffles it all o' one side/' 

WHILK [wilk] (i), WHITTER [wit'ur] vb. To complain; to 
mutter. (See Winder, Witter.} 

" He went off whilkin when I couldn't give him 

WHIP-STICKS [wip-stiks] adv. Quickly ; directly. 

1 88 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

WHIRTLE-BERRIES [wurH-berr'iz] sb. pi. Bilberries. 

or mistress dies, or other member of a family, where 
bees are kept, it is customary (in Eastry) for some one 
to go to the hives and whisper to the bees, that the 
person is dead. The same custom is observed with 
regard to cattle and sheep, as a writer in Notes and 
Queries thus notices : " For many years Mr. Upton 
resided at Dartford Priory, and farmed the lands 
adjacent. In 1868, he died. After his decease, his 
son told the writer (A. J. Dunkin) that the herds- 
men went to each of the kine and sheep, and 
whispered to them that their old master was dead/' 

WHIST [wist] adj. Quiet ; silent. 

" Stand whist ! I can hear de ole rabbut ! " 

1593. " When all were whist, King Edward thus bespoke, 
' Hail Windsor, where I sometimes tooke delight 
To hawke and hunt, and backe the proudest horse.'" 

Peele: Honor of the Garter. 

WHITE-THROAT [weit-throa-t] sb. The bird so called is 
rarely spoken of without the adjective jolly being 
prefixed, e.g., "There's a jolly white-throat!' 

WRITTEN [wit-n] sb. The wayfaring tree. Viburnum 

WHORLBARROW [wurl-bar]. Wheelbarrow. West Kent. 

WHOOT [woot] vb. Word of command to a cart-horse, 
" Go to the off side."ast Kent. 

WIBBER [wib-ur] (i) sb. A wheelbarrow. Short for wilber, 
a contraction of wheelbarrow. 

WIBBER [wib'ur] (2) vb. To use a wibber. 
" I wibber 'd out a wMerfall." 

WlD [wid] prep. With. " I'll be void ye in a minnit," 
e.g., I will be with you in a minute. So widout, for 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 189 

WlFF [wif] sb. A with, withy or bond, for binding fagots. 
Formerly only the large kind of fagot, which went by 
the name of kiln-bush, was bound with two wiffs, other 
smaller kinds with one. But now, as a rule, all fagots 
are tied up with two wiffs. 

WIG [wig] vb. To anticipate ; over-reach ; balk ; cheat. 

WIK [wik] sb. A week. 

" He'll have been gone a wik, come Monday." 

WlLLjlLL [wil-jil] sb. An hermaphrodite. 

WILK [wil-k] sb. A periwinkle. (Anglo-Saxon, wiloc.) 

WILLOW-GULL [wil-oagul-] sb. The Salix caprea ; so called 
from the down upon it resembling the yellow down of 
a young gosling, which they call in Kent a gull. 

WIMBLE [wimb-1], WYMBYLL, sb. (i.) An instrument for 
boring holes, turned by a handle ; still used by wattle 

1533. "For a stoke [stock, i.e., handle] for a nayle 
wymbyll. ' ' A ccounts of St. John's Hospital, Canterbury. 

(ii.) An instrument for twisting the bonds with which 
trusses of hay are bound up. 

WIND [weind] vb. To twist; to warp. Thus, a board 
shrunk or swelled, so as to be warped, is said to wind ; 
and when it is brought straight again it is said to be 
" out of winding." So a poor old man in the Eastry 
Union Workhouse, who suffered much from rheuma- 
tism, once told me, " I had a terrible poor night surely, 
I did turn and wind so." 

WIND -BIBBER [wind-bib-r] sb. A haw. The fruit of 

Cratczgus oxyacantha. 

WINDER [wind-r] (i) vb. To whimper. (See Whelk, Witter.} 

" 'Twas downright miserable to hear him keep all on 
windering soonsever he come down of a morning, cos 
he'd got to go to school/' 

i go Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

WINDER (2) sb. A widgeon. 

WINDROW [wind-roa] sb. Sheaves of corn set up in a row, 
one against another, that the wind may blow betwixt 
them ; or a row of grass thrown up lightly for the same 
purpose in haymaking. 

WINTER-PROUD, adj. Said of corn which is too forward 
for the season in a mild winter. 

WIPS [wips] sb., for wisp ; like waps for wasp. (Middle- 
English, wips, a wisp.) Anything bundled up or 
carelessly thrown up on a heap ; as, " The cloaths 
lie in a wips" i.e., tumbled, in disorder. The spelling 
wips occurs in the Rawlinson MS. of Piers the Plowman, 
B. v. 351, foot note. (See Waps, Haps.} 

WIRE-WEED, sb. The common knotgrass. Polygonum 

WITTER [wit*ur] vb. To murmur; to complain; to wimper; 
to make a peevish, fretting noise. (See Whilk, Winder?) 

WITTERY [wit-ur'i] adj. Peevish ; fretful. 

WITTY [wiH] adj. Well-informed ; knowing ; cunning ; 

" He's a very witty man, I can tell ye/' 

" I, wisdom, dwell with prudence and find out know- 
ledge of witty inventions/' Prov. viii. 12. 

WiWER [wivur] vb. To quiver ; to shake. 

WODMOLE, otherwise WOADMEL, sb. A rough material 
made of coarse wool. 

" . . . . One yeard of greene wodmole for an aprune 
at xijd." Sandwich Book of Orphans. 

WONLY [won-li] adv. Only. 

WOOD-FALL, sb. A tract of underwood marked out to be 
cut. The underwood for hop-poles is felled about 
every twelve years. 

WOOD-NOGGIN, sb. A term applied to half-timbered houses. 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 191 

WOOD -REEVE [wuod-reev] sb. (i.) A woodman; wood- 
cutter; forester; an officer charged with the care 
and management of woods. 

(ii.) Sometimes, in North Kent, men who buy lots 
of standing wood and cut it down to sell for firing, 
are also called wood-reeves. (See Wood-shuck below.) 

1643. The following extract uses the word in the 
first sense : " Spent upon our wood reefe for coming to 
give vs notice of some abuses done to our wood/' 

MS. Accounts, St. John's Hospital, Canterbury. 

WOOD-SHUCK [wuod-shuk] sb. A buyer of felled wood. 
(See above.) 

WORKISH [wurk-ish] adj. Bent upon work ; industrious. 
" He's a workish sort of a chap." 

WORKY-DAY [wurk-i-dai] sb. Work -day, in contradis- 
tinction to Sunday. 

" He's gone all weathers, Sunday and worky-day, 
these seven years/' 

WORM [wirm] sb. A corkscrew. 

WORRIT [wurr'it] vb. To worry. 

" He's been a worritin* about all the mornin' because 
he couldn't find that there worm." (See above.) 

WORST [wirst] vb. To defeat; to get the better of; to 

"He's worsted hisself this time, I fancy, through 
along o' bein' so woundy clever." 

WOUNDY [wou-ndi] adv. Very. 

WREEST [reest] sb. That part of a Kentish plough which 
takes on and off, and on which it rests against the land 
ploughed up. (See Rice.) 

WRAXEN [rak-sun], WREXON [rek-sun] vb. To grow out 
of bounds (said of weeds); to infect; to taint with 

192 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

WRING [ring] (i) vb. To blister. 

" I wrung my shoulder with carrying a twenty-stale 

WRING [ring] (2) vb. To be wet. 

WRONGS [rongz] TO, adv. Out of order. "There's not 
much to wrongs." The antithetical phrase to rights is 
common enough, but to wrongs is rarely heard out of 

WRONGTAKE [rong-taik] vb. To misunderstand a person. 

Wux [wut] vb. Word of command to a cart-horse to stop. 
East Kent. 

Wuxs [wuts] Oats. 


YAFFLE [yafl] (i) sb. The green woodpecker. 
YAFFLE [yaf-1] (2) vb. (See Yoffle.) 

YAR [yaar], YARE [yair] adj. Brisk ; nimble ; swift. 
" Their ships are yare; yours, heavy." 

Antony and Cleopatra, act iii. sc. 7. 

YARD [yaa*d] sb. A rood ; a measure of land. " A yard 
of wood" costs 6s. 8d., in the Old Parish Book of Wye. 
(See Lambarde's Perambulation, p. 257.) 

YAUGH [yau-1] adj. Dirty; nasty; filthy. 

YAWL [yau-1] vb. When the herrings come off Folkestone 
the boats all go out with their fleet of nets "yowling" 
i.e., the nets are placed in the water and allowed to 
drive along with the tide, the men occasionally taking 
an anxious look at them, as it is a lottery whether they 
come across the fish or not. F. Buckland. 

Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 193 

YAWNUP [yairnup] sb. A lazy and uncouth fellow. 

YAX [yaks] sb. The axle-tree. Anglo-Saxon, eax, 
pronounced nearly the same [yaaks]. 

YELD [yeld] vb. To yield. 

" 'Tis a very good yelding field though it is so cledgy." 

YELLOW -BOTTLE [yel-oa-bot-1] sb. The corn marigold. 
Chrysanthemum segetum, 

YENLADE [yen-laid] or YENLET, sb. This word is applied 
by Lewis to the north and south mouths of the estuary 
of the Wantsum, which made Thanet an island. The 
Anglo-Saxon, gen-ldd, means a discharging of a river 
into the sea, or of a smaller river into a larger one. 
(See Beda, Hist. Eccl. lib. iv. c. 8.) 

YEOMAN [yoa-mun] sb. A person farming his own estate. 

" A knight of Cales [i.e., Cadiz], 
A gentleman of Wales, 
And a laird of the north countree; 
A yeoman of Kent 
With his yearly rent 
Will buy 'em out all three." Kentish Proverbs. 

YET [yet] adv. Used redundantly, as " neither this nor 
yet that/' 

YET-NA [yet-na] adv. Yet ; as " he is not come home y et- 
na." Here the suffix na is due to the preceding not. 
Negatives were often thus reduplicated in Old English. 

YEXLE [yex-1] sb. An axle. 

YOFFLE [yof-1], YUFFLE [yuf'l] vb. To eat or drink 
greedily, so as to make a noise. 

" So when we lickt de platters out 

An yoffled down de beer ; 
I sed to Sal, less walk about, 
And try and find de fair." Dick and Sal, st. 66. 

YOKE [yoak] (i) sb. A farm or tract of land of an uncertain 
quantity. It answers to the Latin, jugum. Cake's Yoke 
is the name of a farm in the parish of Crundale. It 
would seem to be such a measure of land as one yoke 
of oxen could plough and till. 

194 Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect. 

YOKE [yoak] (2) sb. The time (eight hours) for a team to 
work. Thus, when the horses go out in the early 
morning and work all day till about two o'clock, and 
then come home to their stable, they make what is 
called "one yoke;" but sometimes, when there is a 
great pressure of work, they will make "two yokes" 
going out as before and coming home for a bait at ten 
o'clock, and then going out for further work at one and 
coming home finally at six p.m. 

YOKELET, sb. An old name in Kent for a little farm or 

YOUR'N [yeurn] poss. pron. Yours. 
YOWL [you*l] vb. To howl. 

" Swich sorwe he maketh, that the grate tour 
Resouneth of his youling and clamour." 

Chaucer, Knightes Tale, 419. 

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A Noble Sussex Family, the Pelhams ; the Percies in Sussex; the Shirleys of Wiston ; 
the Ancestor of the Shelleys, Sir John Hawkwood; Ups and Downs of Sussex Families; the 
Sussex Martyrs ; the Quakers in Sussex ; Hermits in Sussex; Race Tracks in Sussex; Royal 
Visits to Sussex ; the Great Noble and the Yeoman in Sussex ; Christmas in Sussex in the Olden 
Time ; the Knights Templars in Sussex ; Liberty of Speech in Sussex in Past Days; a Sussex 
Sedition, an Episode of Brambletye ; Witchcraft in Sussex ; the Antiquity of Brighton as a 
Health Resort ; an Institution of the Past. 


Lindfield : Its " Colony," Church, Schools, &c. East Mascalls and its Owners. Midhurst, 
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Parish, William Douglas 

A dictionary of the 
Kentish dialect